A1 Journal article (refereed)
Leader motivation as a building block for sustainable leader careers : the relationship between leadership motivation profiles and leader and follower outcomes (2020)

Auvinen, E., Huhtala, M., Kinnunen, U., Tsupari, H., & Feldt, T. (2020). Leader motivation as a building block for sustainable leader careers : the relationship between leadership motivation profiles and leader and follower outcomes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 120, Article 103428. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2020.103428

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsAuvinen, Elina; Huhtala, Mari; Kinnunen, Ulla; Tsupari, Heidi; Feldt, Taru

Journal or seriesJournal of Vocational Behavior



Publication year2020


Article number103428


Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/70410


This study investigates leaders' motivation to lead (MTL) as a personal resource for building a sustainable career as a leader. Using a person-centered methodology, we identified different latent profiles of leadership motivation. These motivational profiles were compared with leaders' occupational well-being and leadership-related career intentions, and with follower-rated leader behaviors and LMX relationship quality. The survey data consisted of 1003 Finnish leaders from various sectors of working life. Of these leaders, 233 recruited their followers to participate in this study, resulting in 987 follower participants. Latent Profile Analysis identified four distinctive MTL profiles: 1) Affective-Identity-based MTL (42%), 2) Low overall MTL (41%), 3) Low Affective-Identity and High Non-Calculative MTL (12%) and 4) High Affective-Identity and Social-Normative MTL (5%). Leaders in the profile with low affective-identity MTL and high non-calculative MTL experienced the poorest occupational well-being, were likely to resign from their current leadership position or apply for less challenging leadership positions, and received the most unfavorable assessments from their followers regarding their leader behaviors and LMX. Leaders whose motivation was based on high affective-identity and social-normativity had good occupational well-being and were most likely to pursue a more challenging career as a leader. To conclude, personal leadership motivation plays an important role in leaders' well-being and in their followers' satisfaction. Thus to create and support sustainable leader careers, both leader candidates themselves and practitioners in HRM and executive selection should consider the underlying motivational resources for leadership. This can help to better align individual careers with the employing organization and create better person-career fit.

Keywordsmanagers and executivesleadership (properties)motivation (mental objects)well-being at workcareercareer planning

Free keywordsmotivation to lead; resources; sustainable career; occupational well-being; career intentions; follower-rated leader behaviors; LMX; person-centered research

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 12:14