Th-SYM-2688-7 - The Reflective Leader: Leadership Learning From Developmental Job Challenges.

Leadership Development
Thursday May 18   04:15 PM to 05:15 PM (1 hour)
Leadership and management
Leadership Development
The reflective leader: Leadership learning from developmental job challenges.
K. Knipfer 1,*, N. Ertel 1, N. Kutschenko 1, E. Schmid 1 on behalf of EAWOP17-SYMPOSIUM-2688 and EAWOP17-SYMPOSIUM-2688
1Technische Universität München, München, Germany
Main Abstract Content: Purpose: Developmental challenges can promote leadership learning and leader effectiveness (DeRue, Nahrgang, Hollenbeck, & Workman, 2012). But why would some leaders learn from a challenge and others would not? While previous research focused on the significance of self-efficacy and learning orientation for learning (Courtright, Colbert, & Choi, 2014; DeRue & Wellman, 2009), we focus on the cognitive learning processes that facilitate (or diminish) learning from job challenges.
Design/Methodology: We conducted a two-study field investigation to test the hypothesis that reflection–the systematic and rational analysis of a situation (e.g., Sparr, Knipfer, & Willems, 2016)–will facilitate leadership learning and leader effectiveness.
Results: A first, cross-sectional study (N = 63) revealed that the relationship between developmental challenge and leader effectiveness was mediated by reflection. In a second, longitudinal study (N = 27, 71 challenges), multilevel modelling revealed a positive effect of developmental challenge on leadership skill development. Reflection mediated this relationship when self-efficacy and feedback-seeking were included as moderators.
Limitations: Future research should include other-ratings of leadership skill development and leader effectiveness.
Implications: This study contributes to research on leadership development and informal workplace learning. The findings imply that organizations should encourage and guide leaders’ reflective learning from developmental job challenges.
Originality/Value: Our study highlights the significance of reflection as a catalyst for leader learning.


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