Fewer but better: proportionate size of the group affects evaluation of transgressive leaders

Travaglino, G.A., Abrams, D., de Moura, G.R. and Yetkili, O. 2016. Fewer but better: proportionate size of the group affects evaluation of transgressive leaders. British Journal of Social Psychology. 55 (2), p. 318–336. doi:10.1111/bjso.12125

TitleFewer but better: proportionate size of the group affects evaluation of transgressive leaders
AuthorsTravaglino, G.A., Abrams, D., de Moura, G.R. and Yetkili, O.
Abstract

A group may be badly affected if its leader transgresses important rules. Nonetheless, an emerging body of evidence suggests that in intergroup contexts, group members apply a double standard when judging ingroup leaders – They respond less punitively to transgressions by their leader than by non-leaders. In this article, two experiments investigated how proportionate ingroup size affects reactions to transgressive ingroup leaders.Wedemonstrate that ingroup leaders from larger, but not smaller, groups benefit from the double standard. The experiments testing the effects of two different types of transgressions (nepotistic favouritism and corruption, respectively) show that transgressive leaders from larger groups are evaluated more positively than both comparable non-leaders and leaders from smaller groups. In contrast, transgressive leaders from smaller groups are evaluated similarly to comparable transgressive non-leaders. Experiment 2 investigated a potential explanation for this phenomenon. Faced with a transgressive leader, members of a smaller group report greater embarrassment than do members of larger groups in relation to the leaders’ actions. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.

JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Journal citation55 (2), p. 318–336
ISSN2044-8309
Year2016
PublisherBritish Psychological Society
Accepted author manuscriptFewer but better- Proportionate size of the group affects evaluation of transgressive leaders.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/bjso.12125
Publication dates
Published online03 Sep 2015
Published in print01 Jun 2016
Published03 Sep 2015

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