טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentLindenbaum Tal
SubjectLeading to Success with a Paradox Mindset and a Proactive
Coping Approach: A Story of Employees' Adaptivity
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors Dr. Liat Levontin
Professor Ella Miron-Spektor
Dr. Dana Vashdi


Abstract

In today’s dynamic and changing work environment, managers encounter various competing demands and tensions they must cope with simultaneously. Research offers insights into how and why they can leverage tensions to succeed in such environments. A new line of research reveals the benefits for individuals and employees of adopting a paradox mindset and a proactive coping approach to deal with such tensions. Extending this work, we aim to advance knowledge on the organizational conditions in which leaders can benefit from endorsing a paradox mindset and proactively confront tensions, and those in which such coping strategies are less effective. Drawing on research on the contingency between leaders’ and followers attributes, we suggest that leaders with a paradox mindset - those who embrace and feel comfortable with tensions - are more likely to thrive in dynamic setting, when their employees highly recognize the need to constantly adapt to change (i.e., high adaptivity). Similarly, leaders who proactively confront tensions, by initiating change, are more likely to be effective and succeed, when their employees’ adaptivity is high, but not when it is low. We tested our theory using a 5-year dataset which included data from branches in an Israeli Bank. The study involved both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Overall, we interviewed 33 branch managers, and collected surveys from 912 employees and managers in 92 branches. Branch managers reported their paradox mindset, and the extent to which they proactively coped with tensions and initiated changes when entering their branch-manager position, and their employees reported their adaptivity. We used CEO excellence awards to evaluate managers’ effectiveness. Our findings support our theoretical model, showing that managers’ paradox mindset and proactive coping approach contribute to their effectiveness only when employees adaptivity is high. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.