Greedy for thee or greedy for me? A contingency model of positive and negative reactions to leader greed

Joel B. Carnevale, Jack E. Carson, Lei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Although theory regarding the follower-related impact of leader greed is scant, indirect evidence from the broader greed literature suggests that leader greed is likely to evoke followers’ negative emotional reactions and associated behavioral responses that thwart effective work-unit functioning. Yet, the assumption that leader greed will invariably generate followers’ negative affective experiences and work behavior may be somewhat narrow and incomplete. Drawing on affective events theory (AET), we provide an important extension to the greed literature by developing a contingency model delineating followers’ positive and negative emotional reactions to their leader's greed. Specifically, we propose a dual pathway model linking leader greed to followers’ gratitude and anger, contingent on followers’ perceptions that they stand to benefit from, or are unfairly disadvantaged by, their leader's greed. Further, we show how the arousal of these two distinct affective experiences in response to leader greed can shape follower outcomes in opposite ways. We conclude by discussing the theoretical implications that emerge from this discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-905
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Citzenship behavior
  • Dysfunctional behavior
  • Follower anger
  • Follower gratitude
  • Greed
  • Leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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