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Seeing eye to eye: can leadership training align perceptions of leadership?

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  • Seung-Ho An, University of Arizona, United States
  • Ulrich Thy Jensen, Arizona State University
  • ,
  • Louise Ladegaard Bro, VIVE - The Danish Center of Social Science Research, Denmark
  • Lotte Bøgh Andersen
  • Jacob Ladenburg, Rockwool Fonden, Denmark
  • Kenneth J. Meier, American University Washington DC, Cardiff University, Leiden University, United States
  • Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen

There is a huge gap between how employees see leaders’ behavior and how leaders see themselves regardless of sector and functional area. Because this gap can be a serious problem in managing organizations, scholars have investigated how the gap can be reduced. This article focuses on leadership training and tests whether and under what conditions it narrows the gap. Using quantitative and qualitative data from a randomized field experiment with several hundred Danish leaders from public and private organizations, we find that a yearlong leadership training course decreases the differences between leader and employee perceptions of transformational and transactional leadership behaviors in public sector organizations but not in private organizations. The findings imply that leadership training can be one way for public organizations to align perceptions of leadership.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Pages (from-to)2-23
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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