In the present set of studies, the authors examine the idea that self-sacrificial leadership motivates follower prosocial behavior, particularly among followers with a prevention focus. Drawing on the self-sacrificial leadership literature and regulatory focus theory, the authors provide results from 4 studies (1 laboratory and 3 field studies) that support the research hypothesis. Specifically, the relationship between self-sacrificial leadership and prosocial behavior (i.e., cooperation, organizational citizenship behavior) is stronger among followers who are high in prevention focus. Implications for the importance of taking a follower-centered approach to leadership are discussed.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Applied Psychology
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

de Cremer, D., Mayer, D., van Dijke, M., Schouten, B., & Bardes, M. (2009). When Does Self-Sacrificial Leadership Motivate Prosocial Behavior? It Depends on Followers' Prevention Focus. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(4), 887–899. doi:10.1037/a0014782