Related Research Interests
I began my research career with an interest in relationships between leaders and followers. The leader-follower relationship is a key relationship for many employees, and it impacts individual, team, and organizational outcomes. Among my research on leader-follower relationships, I have investigated how support from leaders can prevent negative outcomes that might be expected due to behavioral tendencies (Colbert, Mount, Harter, Witt, & Barrick, 2004) and how interdependence between leaders in top management teams influences team and organizational performance (Barrick, Bradley, Kristof-Brown, & Colbert, 2007). I have also explored how leaders encourage and create the conditions necessary for positive interpersonal relationships between peers and throughout organizations. For example, generative leaders, who promote the growth and development of others, may facilitate the creation of positive work relationships by encouraging employees to form development relationships with peers and providing a model of caregiving (Colbert, Bono, & Purvanova, 2008). Additionally, transformational leaders may encourage cooperation within teams by helping to align goals across team members (Colbert, Kristof-Brown, Bradley, & Barrick, 2008).
Recently, I have also become interested in positive work relationships more broadly, including those that develop without the help of leaders (or despite leaders). Together with Joyce Bono and Ina Purvanova, I am working to understand the functions served by positive work relationships in today’s workplace and how these functions may differentially impact employee outcomes. Consistent with self-determination theory, I am interested in understanding more about how relationships influence intrinsic motivation in organizations (Bloom & Colbert, 2011) and how cooperating on intrinsically motivating tasks may influence relationships. With Matt Bloom and Mary Bales, I have also begun exploring the role of work and non-work relationships in shaping identity development processes.
- Bloom, M., & Colbert, A. E. 2011. An integration and extension of intrinsic motivation theories: The role of core affect. In A. Joshi, H. Liao, & J. J. Martocchio (Eds.), Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management: 73-114.
- Colbert, A. E., Kristof-Brown, A. L., Bradley, B. H., & Barrick, M. R. 2008. CEO transformational leadership: The role of goal importance congruence in top management teams. Academy of Management Journal, 51: 81-96.
- Colbert, A. E., Bono, J. E., & Purvanova, R. K. 2008. Generative leadership in business organizations: Enhancing employee cooperation and well-being through high-quality relationships. In B. A. Sullivan, M. Snyder, & J. L. Sullivan (Eds.), Cooperation: The political psychology of effective human interaction: 199-217. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
- Barrick, M. R., Bradley, B. H., Kristof-Brown, A. L., & Colbert, A. E. 2007. The moderating role of top management team interdependence: Implications for real teams and working groups. Academy of Management Journal, 50: 544-557.
- Colbert, A. E., Mount, M. K., Harter, J. K., Witt, L. A., & Barrick, M. R. 2004. Interactive effects of personality and perceptions of the work situation on workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89: 599-609.