Socially Responsible Leadership’s Impact on Stakeholder Management, Staff Job Satisfaction and Work Engagement
Purpose: The article investigates how executive managers handle stakeholder management in the challenging pandemic context. How executive managers’ moral identity affects their attitudes and decisions when faced with crisis. Insight into the influence of socially responsible servant leadership on followers’ job satisfaction and work engagement. Design/Methodology/Approach: Qualitative research on stakeholder management in the pandemic crisis and leaders’ moral identity as the basis of their activities. Quantitative research focusing on the influence of socially responsible leadership on public sector’s employees. Findings: The ongoing COVID-19 crisis strengthens socially responsible leadership. The company leaders participating in the research, whose companies were partly state-owned but also operated on the capital market, were aware of the broad context of stakeholder management and recognized the need to not focus only on shareholders. We observed an influence of moral identity on their decisions. It can be concluded that the respondents’ attitudes represented socially responsible leadership and servant leadership. A positive impact of leadership attitude was discovered on job satisfaction, organization identification, and work engagement. Practical Implications: The practical implications of the research indicate that servant leadership is a theory that should be developed and taught in universities and business schools. Originality/value: We analyze how socially responsible leaders manage stakeholders during crisis, how moral identity shapes socially responsible leaders and affects their attitudes and decisions when their enterprise faces a crisis and contribute to the discussion on servant leadership as a leadership style that supports socially responsible leadership by investigating its influence on staff well-being. Finally, we study an Eastern European context to provide pioneering research on servant leadership.