Leader decision speed as a signal of honesty

Philippe P.F.M. Van De Calseyde*, Anthony M. Evans, Evangelia Demerouti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Decision speed is emerging as an important topic to organizations, yet its consequences for leaders have received little research attention. The present research builds on this notion by examining how the speed with which leaders come to decisions shapes observers' perceptions and behaviors. In three incentivized experiments, participants evaluated leaders who decided whether to include or exclude followers from participating in consequential decisions. Leaders were seen as more honest when they were fast (vs. slow) to include followers, but as less honest when they were fast (vs. slow) to exclude followers from decisions. These perceptions influenced several key outcomes: the willingness to reward leaders (Experiment 1) and the willingness to cooperate with leaders (Experiment 3). Consistent with a signaling perspective, these effects disappeared when observers learned that leaders were externally pressed to decide quickly or slowly (Experiment 2). The present research offers new insights into the cues that people use when judging leaders' decision-making processes, and the behavioral consequences of these judgments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101442
JournalThe Leadership Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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