Process-based leadership: Fair procedures and reactions to organizational change
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The process-based model of leadership draws upon the procedural justice literature to hypothesize that leaders motivate their followers to accept change by exercising their authority via fair procedures. The model draws upon social identity theory to hypothesize that this procedural justice influence is linked to the identity relevance of procedural justice information. As a consequence, it is hypothesized that those who are more strongly identified with their company will be more influenced by procedural justice information. This hypothesis is tested in a merger situation in which leaders are seeking employee acceptance for a change in corporate structure in a situation in which their company is “taken over” by another. The study examines whether the fairness of the procedures managers use to implement the merger shapes employee's subsequent reactions to the new company and whether this influence is stronger when identification is high as predicted by social identity theory. The results suggest that if leaders act in procedurally fair ways, they are viewed as more legitimate and more competent, and employees are more accepting of organizational change. This influence is stronger among those who identify more highly with the organization.