Proceedings of the World Conference on Business, Management, and Economics
How leader-subordinate gender similarity influences the effectiveness of spiritual leadership on emotional exhaustion: Evidence from management consultants in Thailand
A management consultant is a career that needs to deal regularly with tremendous challenges at work because their main task is to help business clients solve problems. For this reason, people in this career are highly prone to experience emotional exhaustion. In research, one aspect of leadership that has been proven to help employees cope with work stress is spiritual leadership. Although the effect of spiritual leadership on emotional exhaustion has been examined in prior research, it is unknown how gender similarity between supervisor and subordinate can influence the degree to which spiritual leadership of supervisors can alleviate emotional exhaustion of subordinates. Thus, the objective of this research is to investigate whether supervisor-subordinate gender similarity could moderate the effect of supervisors’ spiritual leadership on subordinates’ emotional exhaustion. Based on the Similarity-Attraction Theory, we propose that supervisor-subordinate gender similarity could be a facilitating condition that makes the effect of supervisors’ spiritual leadership on subordinates’ emotional exhaustion become more potent. We collected survey data from the sample of 229 management consultants working in Bangkok, Thailand. Then, we used partial least square structural equation modeling for analyzing the data. The result from the moderating effect indicated that the negative association between supervisors’ spiritual leadership and subordinates’ emotional exhaustion was more significant when supervisor-subordinate genders were similar. Overall, our research broadens the knowledge in spiritual leadership research by unveiling that supervisor-subordinate gender similarity could be the boundary condition that determines the effectiveness of spiritual leadership on emotional exhaustion.
keywords: gender difference, leadership effectiveness, similarity-attraction theory, wellbeing, work-related stress