Book Chapter

How leaders self-regulate their task performance: Evidence that power promotes diligence, depletion, and disdain

CN DeWall, RF Baumeister, NL Mead, KD Vohs

Self-Regulation and Self-Control: Selected Works of Roy F. Baumeister | Routledge - Taylor & Francis | Published : 2018


When leaders perform solitary tasks, do they self-regulate to maximize their effort, or do they reduce effort and conserve their resources? Our model suggests that power motivates self-regulation toward effective performance—unless the task is perceived as unworthy of leaders. Our first studies showed that power improves self-regulation and performance, even when resources for self-regulation are low (ego depletion). Additional studies showed that leaders sometimes disdain tasks they deem unworthy, by withholding effort (and therefore performing poorly). Ironically, during ego depletion, leaders skip the appraisal and, therefore, work hard regardless of task suitability, so that depleted lea..

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