©2019 by Kristin Cullen-Lester.

PUBLISHED WORK

Select articles are described below. 
For a full account of my published work please see my:

THE EFFECTS OF MULTIPLE NEGATIVE, NEUTRAL, & POSITIVE ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES

2018
Kristin Cullen-Lester, Brian Webster, Bryan Edwards, and Phillip Braddy
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology

Organizational change research has largely concluded that employees appraise changes in their workplace negatively and thus respond negatively to greater amounts of change. However, whether this conclusion is warranted remains unclear because previous research has examined single workplace changes in isolation or asked employees to make a global assessment of the changing nature of their workplace. Researchers have not had the means to capture the number of changes employees experience or their appraisals of the many different changes occurring in their workplace. In this study, we developed and validated the Quantity of Change Scale (QCS) to provide a more nuanced understanding of employees’ appraisals of their changing workplace. We found that the negative changes employees experience disproportionately influenced their reactions to the changing work environment. However, we also demonstrated that contrary to popular belief, employees appraised fewer changes as negative than as positive or neutral. Together these findings provide new insight into why assessments of employees’ general reactions to workplace change tend to be negative. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our empirical examination of employees’ appraisals of the many changes in their workplace.

THRIVING IN CENTRAL NETWORK POSITIONS: THE ROLE OF POLITICAL SKILL

2018
Kristin Cullen, Alexandra Gerbasi, and Donna Chrobot-Mason
Journal of Management

Theory suggests that thriving, the feeling of vitality and experience of learning, is in large part determined by the social environment of employees’ workplace. One important aspect of this social environment is the position of an individual in the communication network. Individuals who are sources of communication for many colleagues often receive benefits because other employees depend heavily on these individuals for information; however, there may also be drawbacks to this dependence. In particular, employees who are central in the communication network may experience more role overload and role ambiguity and, in turn, lower levels of workplace thriving. Individual differences are also likely to explain why some individuals are more likely to thrive. Relying on research that views organizations as political arenas, we identify political skill as an individual difference that is likely to enhance workplace thriving. Using a moderated-mediation analysis, we find support for the indirect cost of communication centrality on workplace thriving through role overload and role ambiguity. Furthermore, we identify both direct and moderating effects of political skill. Specifically, political skill mitigates the extent to which employees experience role ambiguity, but not role overload, associated with their position in the communication network, and these effects carry through to affect thriving. Star employees are often central in communication networks; with this in mind, we discuss the implications of our findings for employees and organizations.

INCORPORATING NETWORKS INTO LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT:
A CONCEPTUAL MODEL AND EVALUATION OF RESEARCH AND PRACTICE

2017

Kristin Cullen-Lester, Cynthia Maupin, and Dorothy Carter

The Leadership Quarterly

Best Paper 2017

Multilevel and relational views of leadership are expanding the focus of leadership development beyond individuals' knowledge, skills, and abilities to include the networked patterns of social relationships linking members of dyads and larger collectives. In this review, we present a conceptual model explaining how three distinct approaches for network-enhancing leadership development can improve the leadership capacity of individuals and collectives. We then present a review of the leadership development literature and the results of a survey of 282 practitioners to assess the extent to which these approaches have been examined in research and implemented in practice. Our review revealed that leadership research and leadership development practice are outpacing leadership development research in terms of incorporating networks. We aim to spur future research by clarifying the targets, objectives, and underlying mechanisms of each network enhancing leadership development approach in our conceptual model. Further, we identify additional literature, not traditionally considered within the realm of leadership development that may help advance empirical examinations of these approaches.

ENERGY’S ROLE IN THE EXTRAVERSION (DIS)ADVANTAGE: HOW ENERGY TIES AND TASK CONFLICT HELP CLARIFY THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EXTRAVERSION AND PROACTIVE PERFORMANCE

2016
Kristin Cullen-Lester, Hannes Leroy, Alexandra Gerbasi and Lisa Nishii
Journal of Organizational Behavior

While academic and practitioner literatures have proposed that extraverts are at an advantage in team‐based work, it remains unclear exactly what that advantage might be, how extraverts attain such an advantage, and under which conditions. Theory highlighting the importance of energy in the coordination of team efforts helps to answer these questions. We propose that extraverted individuals are able to develop more energizing relationships with their teammates and as a result are seen as proactively contributing to their team. However, problems in coordination (i.e., team task conflict) can reverse this extraversion advantage. We studied 27 project‐based teams at their formation, peak performance, and after disbandment. Results suggest that when team task conflict is low, extraverts energize their teammates and are viewed by others as proactively contributing to the team. However, when team task conflict is high, extraverts develop energizing relationships with fewer of their teammates and are not viewed as proactively contributing to the team. Our findings regarding energizing relationships and team task conflict clarify why extraversion is related to proactive performance and in what way, how, and when extraverts may be at a (dis)advantage in team‐based work.

NETWORK-BASED LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: A GUIDING FRAMEWORK AND RESOURCES FOR MANAGEMENT EDUCATORS

2016
Kristin Cullen-Lester, Meredith Woehler, and Phil Willburn
Journal of Management Education

Management education and leadership development has traditionally focused on improving human capital (i.e., knowledge, skills, and abilities). Social capital, networks, and networking skills have received less attention. When this content has been incorporated into learning and development experiences, it has often been more ad hoc and has overlooked how gender affects individuals’ ability to build and use networks effectively. To address these limitations, we present a three-step framework designed to guide management educators in helping others to (1) address misconceptions they have about networks and networking, (2) learn whether their current network is effective, and (3) identify networking strategies they can use to change their network and improve its effectiveness. In each stage, we discuss challenges that both men and women face and identify challenges that are particularly salient for women. Beyond providing this framework as a guide for incorporating networks, networking, and social capital into leadership development, we offer resources management educators can use at each step to create positive learning and development experiences. Finally, we discuss specific considerations for implementing network-based leadership development in women’s only and mixed gender courses and leadership development programs.

PREDICTING LEADERSHIP RELATIONSHIPS: THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLECTIVE IDENTITY

2016
Donna Chrobot-Mason, Alexandra Gerbasi, & Kristin Cullen-Lester
The Leadership Quarterly

In many organizations, leadership increasingly looks less like a hierarchy of authority. Instead, it is better understood as a network of influence relationships in which multiple people participate, blurring the distinction between leader and follower and raising the question, how do we predict the existence of these leadership relationships? In this study, we examine identification with one's organization and work team to predict the presence or absence of a leadership relationship. Using Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) we find that employees who strongly identify with their company and team are more likely to view others as a source of leadership. We also find that employees who strongly identify with the organization are more likely to be viewed by others as a source of leadership. Implications for enhancing the understanding of plural forms of leadership and leadership development are discussed.