H.W. (Ho Wa (Hodar)) Lam

RSM - Rotterdam School of Management
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM Doctoral Student
Field: Organisation
Affiliated since 2015

PhD Project

Lonely at the top: Exploring the relationships of leader loneliness, power, and leader behaviour

The unpleasant experience of loneliness is an important well-being concern, especially for leaders. However, in the discussion on whether it is “lonely at the top”, the literature on leader loneliness has been incomplete and inconsistent. This research project approaches leader loneliness by discussing power as a unique yet highly relevant characteristic of leadership. It also explores the impacts of leader loneliness on leader behaviour, such as abusive supervision and supervisor support, as well as followers’ helping. In the process, the strategies for emotion regulation, including surface acting, deep acting and genuine display, are analysed. This project employs mixed research methods to address the research questions. Specifically, it involves a conceptual discussion, an experiment and several multi-source surveys. The project contributes to the literature by examining leader well-being issues and understanding the dynamics of loneliness in leadership contexts. It also provides practical insights into the possible functions and harms of leader loneliness. The understanding of underlying mechanisms is also crucial for devising evidence-based organisational interventions.

Keywords
Abusive supervision, emotion regulation, leader emotion, leader well-being, work relationships
Time frame
2016 -

Address

Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T10-53
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Supervisory team

Ho Wa (Hodar) Lam
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Change
Promotor
Ho Wa (Hodar) Lam
Co-Promotor