Motives relate to cooperation in social dilemmas but have an inconsistent association with leadership evaluation

Faculty/Professorship: Work and Organisational Psychology  
Author(s): Wolff, Christian; Keith, Nina
Title of the Journal: Scientific Reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher Information: London : Nature Publishing Group
Year of publication: 2019
Volume: 9
Issue: Article number: 10118
Pages: 14
Language(s): English
Published online: 12 July 2019

Datei enthält "Supplementary Information"
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-45931-4
A common assumption is that good leaders are driven by a power motive that motivates them to influence others. However, leaders need to restrain themselves in social dilemmas where cooperation maximizes collective outcomes. We theorize that in social dilemmas, a desire for positive relationships (affiliation motive) is more beneficial than a power motive because it draws attention away from short-term self-interest towards understanding others. In a game of Settlers of Catan in the laboratory, we find that a functional variant of the affiliation motive relates to verbal encouragement of cooperation, to fewer occurrences of oil spills, to higher ratings of transformational leadership and, in a field survey, to fewer selfish business decisions. Furthermore, a dysfunctional variant of the power motive relates to two of three indicators of selfishness. Group members perceive selfish individuals as assuming leadership roles which indirectly relates to slightly higher ratings of transformational leadership. This pattern of evaluation may privilege men who, on average, show more selfish behaviour which can be partially attributed to their motives. Mere awareness of gender-based discrimination does not enable raters to circumvent this pattern of evaluation. This work suggests a need for interventions that increase appreciation of cooperative leaders.
GND Keywords: Führungspsychologie ; Kooperativer Führungsstil
Keywords: Kooperation, Geschlecht, Soziale Dilemmata
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CW 4600   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
Year of publication: 22. July 2019
Project: Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2012-2020