Leader–team Complementarity: Exploring the Interactive Effects of Leader Personality Traits and Team Power Distance Values on Team Processes and Performance

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Abstract

Integrating the leader trait perspective with dominance complementarity theory, we propose team power distance as an important boundary condition for the indirect impact of leader extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness on team performance through a team’s potency beliefs and through relational identification with the leader. Using time-lagged, 3-source data from 71 teams, we found that leader extraversion had a positive indirect impact on team in-role and extrarole performance through relational identification, but only for high power distance teams; leader conscientiousness had a positive influence on team in-role performance through team potency, but only for high power distance teams; and leader agreeableness had a positive effect on team in-role and extrarole performance via relational identification and on team in-role performance via team potency, but only for low power distance teams. The findings address prior inconsistencies regarding the relationships between leader traits and team effectiveness, identify an important boundary condition and key team processes that bridge the links, and provide a deeper understanding of the role of leader traits in teams.

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