Gastvortrag Prof. Dr. Peter O’Connor, School of Management, QUT Business School, Australia: The performance and wellbeing of introverted leaders: Investigating theconsequences of acting out of character

Jun 26
26. Juni 2018 16:00 Uhr bis 18:00 Uhr
Nägelsbachstr. 49b, Raum 02.219

The wellbeing of employees in leadership positions is a major determinant of
organisational performance. On balance, psychologically healthy leaders make better operational
decisions and adopt leadership styles more conductive to follower performance than unhealthy
leaders. In the present research, we investigate the performance and wellbeing of a large subset of
vulnerable leaders: introverted leaders. We propose and test a theoretical model of leader
performance and wellbeing that recognizes that introverts regularly need to act out of character
(i.e., act extraverted) in order to perform competently in leadership positions. We hypothesize
that the ongoing requirement for introverted leaders to act extraverted will compromise their
effectiveness as leaders and leave them vulnerable to low wellbeing. We also hypothesize that
introverted leaders will be protected from the long term effects of enacted extraversion by
modifying their affective forecasts (i.e. predictions about how much they will enjoy acting
extraverted). Hypotheses were tested on two large household panel datasets: the German Socio-
Economic Panel (SOEP) and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia
(HILDA) (n < 10,000) and one laboratory study with undergraduate management students (n =
184). Results indicate that introverts represent a vulnerable group of leaders, however the
majority do not suffer long term health outcomes. These findings are explained in terms of the
theoretical model and key moderators are discussed.

Peter O’Connor is an Associate Professor in the School of Management, QUT Business School,
Australia. Peter’s research seeks to determine how personality traits and emotional competencies
influence important work outcomes such as leadership, creativity, and wellbeing. He is
particularly fascinated by the consequences of ambiguous work situations, as well as situations
requiring individuals to act ‘out of character’. He has more than 50 academic outputs and has
published his research findings in such journals as Psychological Bulletin, the Journal of
Business and Psychology and the Journal of Personality. He is a frequent contributor to The
Conversation and his research has been covered in several international media outlets including
Scientific American, The Washington Post, and The International Business Times. In addition to
research, he regularly consults with industry partners on various topics including emotional
intelligence, tolerance of ambiguity and leadership development. Peter received his postgraduate
training in Organisational Psychology and received his PhD from the University of Queensland.