D4 Published development or research report or study
Johtotehtäviin liittyvät huolenaiheet korkeasti koulutetuilla johtajilla : selittäjät, seuraukset ja alaisten kokemukset (2019)

Auvinen, E., Kilponen, K., Tsupari, H., Huhtala, M., Muotka, J., & Feldt, T. (2019). Johtotehtäviin liittyvät huolenaiheet korkeasti koulutetuilla johtajilla : selittäjät, seuraukset ja alaisten kokemukset. Jyväskylän yliopisto. Jyväskylän yliopiston psykologian laitoksen julkaisuja, 357. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7844-0

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Auvinen, Elina; Kilponen, Kiia; Tsupari, Heidi; Huhtala, Mari; Muotka, Joona; Feldt, Taru

eISBN: 978-951-39-7844-0

Journal or series: Jyväskylän yliopiston psykologian laitoksen julkaisuja

ISSN: 0782-3274

Publication year: 2019

Number in series: 357

Number of pages in the book: 73

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: Finnish

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7844-0

Publication open access: Other way freely accessible online

Publication channel open access:


This study investigated Worries about Leadership (WAL) among Finnish managers. WAL refers to personal negative evaluations that one makes about the potential consequences of a leadership role. The first aim of the study was to examine the psychometric properties (reliability and construct validity) of the 16-item Worries about Leadership Scale (Aycan & Shelia, 2018) among Finnish managers. The scale includes three sub-dimensions: 1) worries about failure, 2) worries about harm, and 3) worries about work-life imbalance. Second, we investigated different antecedents of leadership-related worries, both individual (demographic background factors, personal psychological factors) and contextual (learning climate at the work place). Our third main goal was to study how worries about leadership associate with well-being (work engagement, burnout) and career plans (resigning leadership positions). In addition, we examined whether managers’ experiences of WAL was associated with the evaluations provided by their followers. Altogether 895 managers participated in the survey during the spring-autumn 2017. They represented professors (50 %), university researchers and other academics (12 %), business school graduates (25 %), and technical academics) (13 %). Of the participants, 45 % were women. Their age ranged between 27 and 69 years (M = 52.7). The hierarchical leader-follower data consisted of 242 leaders and their 987 followers. The results showed that all three WAL dimensions had good reliabilities. Based on a confirmatory factor analysis, the three-factor model had a moderate fit to the data among the participated managers. After reviewing the model, a second-order factor solution fit the data even better. From the demographic background factors that were included in the study, previous leadership experience and weekly working hours were associated with worries about leadership. Managers with more previous leadership experience reported having less worries related to leadership. Those managers, who worked 45 hours (or more) per week, reported most worries related to work-life imbalance. Of the studied individual psychological factors, especially individual tendency to be strained about errors was related to WAL. From the work environmental factors, the error-avoidant climate was associated with worries related to harm and failure. Worries about leadership were also related to well-being at work: The more worries the participants reported, the less work engagement and the more burnout they experienced. Especially, worries related to failure were associated to lower work engagement and higher burnout. Worries about leadership (especially worries about harm and work-life imbalance) were associated with willingness to resign leadership roles. When the data was investigated hierarchically, latent profile analysis (LPA) was conducted to group the participated managers into distinctive patterns based on their WAL experiences. Within these worry patterns, the evaluations provided by the followers differed: In “Extremely worried” -pattern, followers’ ratings about satisfaction with their leader and the visibility of leader’s worries were most unsatisfactory compared to other patterns. To conclude, our findings indicate that even individuals in leader positions experience worries related to the consequences of leadership. These findings should be taken into account in general discussions and decision-making concerning work life, especially in the fields of leader education and executive coaching. Paying attention to and dealing with worries about leaders have concerning leadership could ensure that most suitable and exceling managers could sustainably continue a career as a leader.

Keywords: leadership (activity); managers and executives; university-educated labour; academic degree holders; work; work engagement; work burden; exhaustion; concern; contentment; career planning; professors; researchers; Bachelors of Economic Sciences

Free keywords: worries about leadership; error orientation; burnout; work engagement; career aspirations; satisfaction with leadership; professors; academics; economists; engineers

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

Last updated on 2022-24-11 at 22:17