Department of Management


Date of this Version



Published in The International Journal of Human Resource Management 24:13 (2013), pp. 2534–2553. doi 10.1080/09585192.2012.744338


Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


A key assumption of effective international human resource management (IHRM) is that global leaders influence and serve as role models for their followers, regardless of the inherent distance (physical and frequency of interaction) between them in today’s global context or the quality of the relationship. Although considerable attention has been devoted to cultural differences between global leaders and their diverse followers and teams, this study investigates the impact that distance and quality of the relationship has on a sample of a Fortune 100 multinational firm’s global leaders’ level of positive psychological capital (PsyCap) contagion effect on their followers located around the world. The results indicated such contagion at a distance existed, but the quality of the relationship did mediate this effect. Moreover, the potential undesirable effects of distance seemed to be buffered by the global leaders’ PsyCap. The potential limitations, needed future research and practical implications for IHRM conclude the article.