A FIT THEORY OF ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND TWO EMPIRICAL EXAMINATIONS
In a three manuscript dissertation, I propose a Meso-model of organizational leadership based on fit theory and then test key propositions of the model concerning exchange relationships between leaders and followers. The first manuscript examines existing leadership theory highlighting points of agreement and contention among theoretical paradigms, and then presents a fit-based model designed to integrate theory and allow for more directed growth in the field. The second manuscript proposes that narcissistic leaders will form dysfunctional relationships with followers based on subordinate Core Self-Evaluation (CSE). It is hypothesized that follower CSE is positively related to higher quality exchange relationships (LMX) with supervisors. However, I predict that leader narcissism moderates this relationship such that for narcissistic supervisors the CSE-LMX relationship is negative, as narcissists prefer to surround themselves with low-CSE followers. Results did not support the hypotheses, and several intervening variables and future directions are considered in the discussion. The third manuscript investigates the interaction between bad apple followers, or those with a predisposition to destructive behavior, and ethical leaders. Competing hypotheses are presented to explain the interaction, with the goal of determining if and how ethical leaders are able to influence the deviant behavior of Bad Apple employees. Results suggest that Bad Apples improve their behavior in the presence of an ethical leader, but remain equally more deviant than their non-Bad Apple peers with or without ethical leadership. Implications and future directions are also discussed.