Building cohesive teams—the role of leaders’ bottom-line mentality and behavior

Katrin Riisla, Hein Wendt, Mayowa T. Babalola, Martin Euwema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Team cohesiveness plays a crucial role in effective teamwork, innovation, and improved performance, and as such, its development among team members is an essential part of team man-agement. However, it may be disregarded by leaders with a high bottom-line mentality (BLM; a single-minded focus on the bottom line at the expense of other values or priorities). These leaders may show little interest in other priorities, such as ethical, social, or environmental considerations, and may be tempted to push their followers to go above and beyond what is expected, even if it means bending the rules, cutting corners, or engaging in other ethically problematic behaviors. We argue that although a team leader’s BLM may motivate followers to come together around the pur-suit of a common goal, it may come at the expense of nurturing healthy interpersonal relationships, trust, and other important social resources within the team. Specifically, we argue that the way leaders with a high BLM approach their goals may affect team cohesiveness, and that it is particularly negative for female leaders. Using a large multi-national study, we found that this happens through increased directive and lowered participative leader behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8047
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Directive leadership
  • Leader bottom-line mentality
  • Participative leadership
  • Team cohesiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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