M. Ronald Buckley and John E. Baur
One of us (Buckley) received a call from a colleague who could best be described as crestfallen. Buckley had known this professor for well over ten years as this professor had completed his PhD with one of Buckley’s dearest friends. The reason the colleague felt this way was owing to a recent conversation he had with an administrator (dean, associate dean or department chair in the United States of America) in his business school in which he was told ‘you don’t publish in journals we value around here’. Buckley asked where this had come from and was told by the colleague that it was due to the notion that he did not publish in the journals that were at the top of the journal list of his college. Buckley tried to assuage his colleague’s negative emotions by telling him that he had a fine record and some really well cited publications. Buckley hoped he felt better, but the conversation forced us to think of that most recent shibboleth that we are increasingly witnessing in business schools around the world today – the dreaded journal list – which outlines the quality of publications in the absence of reading said publications. Journal lists have been with us for a number of years but their importance continues to increase as we rely on them as a crutch to determining meaningful scholarship.
B. Parker Ellen, Gerald R. Ferris and M. Ronald Buckley
Given that organizations have been classified as political arenas, and that political will and skill are necessary for managerial success, leaders often must behave politically in order to succeed within organizational environments. However, despite a growing body of work on leader political skill, relatively little research has addressed the actual political behavior of leaders. Explanations for this gap in the leadership and organizational politics literatures have focused on the apparent paradox between the other-centered concept of leadership and the self-interested nature of political behavior. Recently, leader political support, which captures leaders’ political behavior on behalf of others (i.e. their followers), has been introduced in effort to address this gap. In this chapter, we extend conceptual thinking on leader political support, and argue that it can be considered a form of prosocial leader behavior. Following a brief overview of the construct, and an explanation of the characteristics that link it to forms of prosocial behavior, we use existing research on prosocial motivation to explore the possible motives for leaders’ political behavior in support of followers before offering some potential avenues for future inquiry. We hope this broadened perspective on leaders’ political behavior will inspire additional future research on leader political support.