A study by BI Norwegian Business School looked at turnover in leadership positions and how employees’ views changed to incorporate the values of new managers.
The study, based on data from staff in the European Commission (EC), observed before and after changes in political leaders, found that when people got a new leader from a more EU-critical country, they incorporated a less positive position about the EU and EC.
It also highlighted that the impact of leaders is greater on staff when the leader-employee hierarchical distance is smaller and there is more frequent contact.
The report recommended that when hiring, public sector bodies observe whether candidates’ values are congruent with the previous leader’s.
Benny Geys, professor of economics at BI and one of the authors, added: “Our results show such perceptions of leaders’ opinions can have important spillover effects on their staff members, and thereby may influence staff actions and decisions.”