IBSS Academic Publishes Leadership Research in Top Journal

10 Mar 2023

XJTLU International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Organisations, Dr Qianyao Huang, recently published a paper titled ‘Polishing followers' future work selves! The critical roles of leader future orientation and vision communication’ in international top research publication The Journal of Vocational Behavior (ABS4).

Dr. Huang’s research focuses on the antecedents of Future Work Self Salience (FWSS) and explores how and when leaders shape employee FWSS. FWSS refers to a clear and accessible self-image in relation to future work, a concept that outlines one's expectations and aspirations for one's future work self. This has been shown to be a positive guide for individual employment and career planning. Dr. Huang and three scholars from the University of International Business and Economics, Nottingham University Ningbo and the Wuhan University of Technology used Social cognitive career theory and Self-affirmation theory to propose the future orientation of leaders. After several rounds of multi-source questionnaires at a company in the service industry, they found support for their hypothesis that a leader’s future orientation has a positive effect on their ability to communicate their vision, which then goes on to promote followers' FWSS. Dr. Huang and his co-authors also found that the higher the perceived self-integrity of a leader was, the better that leader was able to communicate their future orientation through their vision, resulting in a further positive impact on employee FWSS.

The findings of the study offer a number of recommendations for practice. From an organisational perspective, organisations can consider assessing future orientation and self-integrity as a key criteria in their selection of leaders. From the employee's perspective, employees can seek advice from leaders who have similar expertise and career trajectories to their own, in order to develop a strong vision of their own future work.

The authors note that one limitation of the study was that the data came purely from Chinese companies. While Chinese employees have a strong commitment to their employers and the communication of the leader’s vision is able to effectively translate into employee direction and FWSS, the same may not be true of other cultures. The authors therefore look forward to future research to determine whether the findings of their study still hold true in other socio-cultural contexts.

Dr. Qianyao Huang is an Assistant Professor at International Business School Suzhou. Her main research interests are in leadership, business ethics and digital management. Dr. Huang graduated from the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University in 2022 and joined IBSS in the same year.

Journal of Vocational Behavior is a top journal in the field of career choice, career development and counselling published by Elsevier. With a recent impact factor of 6.065, Journal of Vocational Behaviour is highly regarded nationally and internationally.

Over the past year, IBSS scholars have published a number of papers in leading international academic journals at the UTD-24, FT-50 and ABS 4/4* levels, including Management Science, Journal of Finance, Journal of Operations Management, Information System Research, Production and Operations Management,  Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Research Policy, Journal of World Business, Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Retailing, Human Resource Management, etc., and have been awarded a number of important research projects by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Humanities and Social Science Foundation of the Ministry of Education. The business school is well on its way to becoming a top-quality research-oriented business school.

10 Mar 2023