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Free Content The effect of sleep deprivation on leadership behaviour in military officers: an experimental study

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While several studies show that leaders frequently lack sleep, little is known about how this influences leadership behaviour. The present study encompasses an experiment that investigated how three main types of leadership behaviour: transformational (four sub‐facets); transactional (two sub‐facets); and passive‐avoidant (two sub‐facets) leadership differed across a rested and a long‐term, partially sleep‐deprived condition. A total of 16 military naval officers participated. In both conditions, the leaders managed a team of three subordinates in a navy navigation simulator, instructed to complete a specific mission (A or B). Both sleep state (rested or sleep deprived) and mission were counterbalanced. Leadership behaviour was video recorded and subsequently rated on the three leadership behaviours. Overall, the scores on transformational leadership (and on two of four sub‐facets) and transactional leadership (on both sub‐facets) decreased from the rested to sleep‐deprived condition, whereas scores on passive‐avoidant leadership overall (and on both sub‐facets) increased from the rested to sleep‐deprived condition. This study underscores the importance of including sleep as a potentially important determinant when assessing leadership effectiveness.
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Keywords: laissez‐faire; leadership; sleep deprivation; transactional; transformational

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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