Reducing the Cost of Being the Boss : Authentic Leadership Suppresses the Effect of Role Stereotype Conflict on Antisocial Behaviors in Leaders and Entrepreneurs

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2021
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Abstract
What drives entrepreneurs to engage in antisocial economic behaviors? Without dismissing entrepreneurs' agency in their decision-making processes, our study aims to answer this question by proposing that antisocial economic behaviors are a dysfunctional coping mechanism to reduce the psychological tension that entrepreneurs face in their day-to-day activities. Further, given the overlap between the male gender role stereotype and both leader and entrepreneur role stereotypes, this psychological tension should be stronger in female entrepreneurs (or any person who identifies with the female gender role). We argue that besides the well-established female gender role - leader role incongruence, female entrepreneurs also suffer a female gender role - entrepreneur role incongruence. Thus, we predicted that men (or those identifying with the male gender role) or entrepreneurs (regardless of their gender identity) that embrace these roles stereotypes to an extreme, are more likely to engage in antisocial economic behaviors. In this context, the term antisocial economic behaviors refers to cheating or trying to harm competitors' businesses. Finally, we predicted that embracing an authentic leadership style might mitigate this effect. We tested our predictions in two laboratory studies (Phase 1 and 2). For Phase 1 we recruited a sample of French Business school students (N = 82). For Phase 2 we recruited a sample of Costa Rican male and female entrepreneurs, using male and female managers as reference groups (N = 64). Our results show that authentic leadership reduced the likelihood of entrepreneurs and men of engaging in antisocial economic behaviors such as trying to harm one's competition or seeking an unfair advantage.
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Monzani, Lucas Mateu, Guillermo Hernandez Bark, Alina S. Martínez Villavicencio, José 2021 Reducing the Cost of Being the Boss : Authentic Leadership Suppresses the Effect of Role Stereotype Conflict on Antisocial Behaviors in Leaders and Entrepreneurs Frontiers In Psychology 12 760258 1 18