Just What You Need: the Complementary Effect of Leader Proactive Personality and Team Need for Approval

  • Jason L. HuangEmail author
  • Chenwei Liao
  • Yuhui Li
  • Mengqiao Liu
  • Benjamin Biermeier-Hanson
Original Paper


Drawing from the performance requirement matching perspective of leadership effectiveness (Zaccaro, Green, Dubrow, & Kolze, 2018), the current study investigates how leader proactive personality and team need for approval interactively relate to team commitment and subsequent team performance. We hypothesize that the positive effect of leader proactive personality on team commitment is strengthened when teams have high need for approval. Further, we expect team commitment to transmit the interactive effect between leader proactive personality and team need for approval on team performance. Survey data collected from 80 team leaders and 395 members supported the proposed mediated moderation model. Specifically, in teams with high need for approval, leader proactive personality positively predicted team commitment, which subsequently predicted team performance. In contrast, in teams with low need for approval, leader proactive personality had nonsignificant relationship with team commitment. Overall, the current findings highlight the theoretical importance of understanding leader-team complementarity and underscore the need to recognize team need for approval composition as a context that bounds the influence of leader proactivity. The present study also offers actionable input for team selection and assessment.


Proactive personality Leader-team complementarity Need for approval Team commitment Team performance 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Human Resources and Labor RelationsMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.School of Labor and Human ResourcesRenmin University, ChinaHaidian QuChina
  3. 3.Development Dimensions InternationalBridgevilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyRadford UniversityRadfordUSA

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