Building-up Resilience and Being Effective Leaders in the Workplace—A Systematic Review and Synthesis Model




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Peer reviewed



Abstract Purpose: Psychological resilience, defined here as the capacity to bounce back from adversity and failure, has been studied in various leadership contexts. However, the literature demonstrates less consensus concerning how psychological resilience manifests in, and interacts within, the leadership role and, equally, the focus on resilience development is underdeveloped. This paper addresses these issues by focusing on the interactions between psychological resilience and leadership and presents practical development strategies. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic review employing 47 empirical studies followed a thematic synthesis within an associated model encapsulated as: Building-up Resilience and Being Effective. Findings: First, resilience is identified as and aspect that is essential and can benefit individuals and organizations’ work outcomes across leadership contexts, including work performance, job engagement, well-being, and enhanced leadership capability. Secondly, leaders may build up their resilience by obtaining coping skills and improved attitudes toward challenges. The idea of resilient attitudes, which are presented as paradoxical perspectives toward challenges, may help leaders adapt to challenges and adversities, and lead to beneficial outcomes. Originality: Fundamentally, the synthesized model applied may encourage further studies to focus on how to build up resilience and practically apply it in workplaces across leadership contexts. In particular, this study found that adopting paradoxical perspectives and ambidextrous leadership approaches toward adversities is an original resilience development strategy, which serves to contribute to the gap in the literature


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


leadership, psychological resilience, work outcome, resilience development


Yu, M, Jie, W, Smith, S. and Stokes, P. (2022) Building-up Resilience and Being Effective Leaders in the Workplace—A Systematic Review and Synthesis Model. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 43 (7), pp. 1098-1117


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)