Prosocial Leadership: Gratitude at Home and Humility at the Helm
10 May 2024 (Fri)
10:00am – 11:30am
LSK Rm5047
Prof. Jia (Jasmine) Hu, Ohio State University

Prosocial leadership promotes the wellbeing of stakeholders and is vital within and beyond organizational bounds. This presentation synthesizes two papers that highlight how gratitude and humility in leaders can drive prosocial behavior and enhance team diversity. The first, by Hu, Kim, & Lanaj, underscores the holistic nature of leadership, positing that personal life gratitude influences professional prosocial behaviors. Utilizing moral affect theory and savoring intervention research, it examines how gratitude reflection can encourage leaders to act in more supportive and empowering ways. Three field experiments involving managers, industry-wide leader-follower pairs, and a variety of leaders reveal that reflecting on familial gratitude augments leaders' prosocial impact and fulfills their basic needs, thus facilitating positive workplace dynamics. Notably, the study indicates that leaders predisposed to negative affect may derive less benefit from these reflections.

The second paper by Hu, Zhu, Zhang, & Yuan explores the effect of CEO humility on the presence of women in top management teams, proposing that humble CEOs are prone to recognize and promote female managers. Data from 130 CEOs in diverse international contexts confirms this propensity, with the effect amplified among female CEOs, more powerful leaders, or those in cultures with lower masculinity or power distance. Supplementary experiments provide further validation. These papers collectively illustrate that leadership infused with gratitude and humility not only enriches personal growth but also fosters a more inclusive and diverse workplace.