Recently, research on the leadership potential of employees has gradually attracted the attention of scholars. However, further exploration is required to better understand the upward influence of employee’s leadership potential on their leaders. This study examined the mechanisms behind the impact of employee’s leadership potential on leadership ostracism behavior. Moreover, the mediating role of leader’s envy and the moderating role of employee’s political skills in the relationship between employee’s leadership potential and leadership ostracism behavior were investigated. The results of an empirical analysis of 221 employee–leader pairs, studied over multiple periods, are as follows: employee’s leadership potential had a significant positive impact on leader’s envy and leadership ostracism behavior; leader’s envy had a significant positive impact on leadership ostracism behavior; and leader’s envy mediated the relationship between leadership potential and leadership ostracism behavior. In addition, employee’s political skills negatively moderated the indirect effect of leadership potential on leadership ostracism behavior through leader’s envy. The leadership potential of employees with more political skills appeared to have less influence on organizational ostracism via leader’s envy. This study explored the “dark-side” of employee’s leadership potential by understanding its impact on their leaders; the findings have theoretical and practical significance for companies.
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering