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21 March 2023 - 21 March 2023

2:00PM - 4:00PM


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Join us at this week's CLF seminar with Professor David Sluss (ESSEC Business School)

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Durham University Business School

Being new and resilient: How leaders build newcomer resilience via relational identification


Adjusting to a new job, role, organization, or (even) an occupation is difficult and requires resilience. Might leaders be pivotal in helping newcomers build resilience? Based on the theoretical view that relational identification with the leader is an identity-based psychological resource, we explore the process by which leaders help newcomers build resilience during the newcomer adjustment process. We also investigate how the newcomer’s positive framing amplifies the mediatory power of relational identification in building newcomer resilience. We investigate the newcomer’s resilience via a temporally lagged study of 138 U.S. Navy Recruits during their 8-week basic training experience. While controlling for the newcomer’s (state) resilience at entry, we found that the newcomer’s relational identification (with the supervisory relationship) mediated the association between supportive leadership and the newcomer’s resilience at the end of basic training. We also found that newcomer positive framing amplified this mediatory process – that is, the indirect effect of supportive leadership on newcomer resilience via relational identification. In doing so, we advance both organization-related resilience research and the socialization literature by (1) investigating the ‘who,’ ‘how,’ and ‘when’ of a leader-driven newcomer resilience process and (2) introducing resilience as a novel and important newcomer capacity. 

About the Speaker

David M. Sluss, Ph.D. scholarly works and educational pursuits focus on how high potential professionals become agile, adaptive, & analytical leaders through creating personalized and productive work relationships. He builds on his academic research on relational identity and identification (Sluss & Ashforth, 2007, Academy of Management Review). He focuses on ‘new leader’ development, leader transitions, and how leaders build resilience in the face of adversity. He takes a diagnostic and behavioral approach to facilitating leadership development. 

His research on relational identity and identification has explored processes across different contexts: telemarketing newcomers, technical professionals, contingent workers, and nomadic professionals. He has published research in the Academy of Management JournalAcademy of Management ReviewJournal of Applied PsychologyJournal of Vocational Behavior, and Organization Science. He is currently serving on the editorial boards for Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Business & Psychology, and Organizational Psychology Review (where he was previously a founding Associate Editor). He has also served as Special Issue Associate Editor for Academy of Management Review. 

He works with organizations throughout the U.S., Latin America, and Europe. Fluent in Spanish, he has worked in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A partial list includes: Abbott Laboratories (U.S. and Puerto Rico), Argos (Colombia), Baxter Pharmaceuticals (Belgium), Cisco Systems, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Google, IBM (U.S. & Ireland), McKesson, Rohlig (Germany), SCTE, Simpson Industries (Mexico), OSCE, A1 (Austria), and Verbund (Austria).

Prior to his doctoral studies, he was Vice President and Partner at PathWise (a boutique management training consultancy). He designed and facilitated "real-life" application workshops on topics such as leadership, performance coaching, problem solving/decision making, and project management for clients within the technology and pharmaceutical sectors.