Exploring the role of leader-subordinate interactions in the construction of organizational positivity

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18 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we discuss individual implicit theories of how positive and negative organizing unfold. The discussion is grounded in data collected from 89 individuals working in different organizational contexts. An inductive logic was followed, based on critical incidents of positive and negative processes and outcomes presented by participants, according to how they viewed their professional situation. Through a dialectical process of analysis, we extracted six dimensions that were present in different combinations among narratives provided by the participants: recognition/indifference, communication/silence, interaction/separation, confidence/ distrust, loyalty/betrayal, and organizational transparency/organizational secrecy. We then analysed how these dimensions fit together and discovered that they could be organized around four major patterns combining the clarity/secrecy of organizational rules and the considerate/detached behavior of leaders. We assert that positive leaders are essential in the creation of patterns of organizing, regardless of the features of the external context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-101
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2009


  • Leadership
  • Organizational energy
  • Positive organizing


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