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High Performance Expectations: Concept and causes

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High performance expectations (HPE) are central in public management because employees tend to contribute more when their leaders have high expectations to them. However, we know little about how leaders make it clear to employees that they have these high expectations. Building on transformational literature research, HPE is defined as the degree to which leaders succeed in expressing ambitious expectations to their employees’ achievement of given performance criteria, and it is analyzed how leadership behavior affects employee-perceived HPE. This study applies a large-scale leadership field experiment with 3,730 employees nested in 471 organizations and finds that transformational leadership training as well as transactional and combined training of the leaders significantly increased employees’ HPE relative to a control group. Furthermore, transformational leadership and the use of pecuniary rewards seem to be important mechanisms. This implies that public leaders can actually affect HPE through their leadership and thus potentially organizational performance as well.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Public Administration
Sider (fra-til)108-118
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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