Drawing from visionary leadership and strategy process research, we theorize and test the mechanism through which middle and lower-level managers’ visionary leadership affects their teams’ strategic commitment. The management literature extols the virtues of visionary leadership. In contrast to this positive stance, we reveal a dark side to visionary leadership. Our theoretical framework suggests that team manager visionary leadership harms team strategic consensus when the manager is not strategically aligned with the CEO, which in turn diminishes team commitment to the strategy. In contrast, when a team manager is strategically aligned with the CEO, team manager visionary leadership is positively related to team strategic consensus and subsequently to team strategic commitment. Data from 136 teams from two organizations support our moderated mediation model. A supplemental analysis of the content of strategic consensus and additional qualitative interviews with managers and employees in one of these organizations provide additional insights concerning the meaning of the theorized relations in practice.
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