Falvo, R., Capozza, D., Di Bernardo, G. A., & Manganelli, A. M.
Attributions of competence and warmth to the leader and employees’ organizational commitment: The mediation role of the satisfaction of basic needs
In the present study, competence and warmth, the two fundamental dimensions of social judgment, postulated by the stereotype content model (SCM), are considered as leaders’ traits. In particular, we investigated whether the attribution of competence and warmth to one’s own supervisor is related to employees’ organizational commitment. Furthermore, we hypothesized that the mechanism underpinning this relation was the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs — competence, autonomy, and relatedness — conceptualized by self-determination theory. To test our hypotheses a cross-sectional study was conducted, examining metalworkers (N = 120) of an engineering industry. Participants filled out a questionnaire, including measures of evaluations regarding one’s supervisor, satisfaction of basic needs at work, and organizational commitment. Indirect effects of leader’s perceived competence and perceived warmth on organizational commitment were tested using PROCESS. Results showed that warmth ascribed to the leader, but not competence, was positively related to organizational commitment, this relationship being mediated by the satisfaction of the need for autonomy. Our findings establish a link between warmth ascribed to one’s supervisor and employees’ organizational commitment, suggesting the usefulness of considering warmth and competence as leader traits in organizational contexts.Back