Keywords : Management behaviour

Effects of Fatherhood on Leadership Behaviour of Managers

Bernhard Stellner

International Journal of Organizational Leadership, 2021, Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 367-384
DOI: 10.33844/ijol.2021.60598

Becoming a father is a major life event for men and is accompanied by new role expectations and behavioural changes. While earlier research focused on the conflictual facets, more recent work-family enrichment theory emphasises the positive aspects of multiple roles. Previous quantitative and qualitative research has found that parenthood positively influences overall leadership and management behaviour at work. Our quantitative study uses a more granular definition of leadership behaviour with data from 157 male managers from Central Europe collected with a web-based survey. We find that 14 out of 15 transformational leadership behaviours (TLB) improve significantly with fatherhood. The individual behaviours supporting, recognizing, and developing progress the most. Only networking remains unaffected. Parental role enrichment outweighs conflict, and the resulting net effect correlates strongly with TLB. Also, parental role commitment and job level (position and number of subordinates) have a positive effect on TLB improvement. Parental role commitment and net enrichment show strong multicollinearity. Despite the positive effects of fatherhood on TLB in general, these decrease as the number of children increases, contradicting the intuition that "the more, the better". The findings should be considered in both managerial theory and practice as they concern the majority of men in leadership positions.