Paradoxical Leader Behaviors: Leader Personality and Follower Outcomes

Erum Ishaq, Sajid Bashir, Abdul Karim Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


We examined leaders’ Big Five personality traits as the antecedents and followers’ in-role and innovative performance behaviors as outcomes of paradoxical leader behavior (PLB) in people management. We also examined the moderating effect of followers’ psychological capital on PLB and its relationship with followers’ outcomes. We drew on the trait theory of leadership, social learning theory, and the conservation of resources theory to derive our hypotheses. We tested our predictions with a sample of 131 managers and 609 followers. By and large, we found support for our predictions. More specifically, leaders’ traits of extraversion and openness to experience were positively related to followers’ PLB ratings. Conversely, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism among leaders were negatively related to followers’ PLB ratings. PLB in turn was positively related to followers’ in-role and innovative performance behaviors. Followers’ psychological capital was found to moderate the relationship between PLB and followers’ in-role performance such that the relationship was stronger when followers’ psychological capital was high than when it was low. The implications of these findings were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-357
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology


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