A Multilevel Field Study of Functional Leadership: The Role of Situational Load and Individual Differences

Eric Weis

Advisor: Stephen Zaccaro, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Seth Kaplan, Paul Clark

Innovation Hall, #139
June 12, 2012, 01:00 PM to 11:00 AM


This field research provides a multilevel longitudinal examination of the functional component behaviors leaders use to optimize team performance under varying situationally-demanding conditions. Empirical support was found for situationally-specific leadership behaviors among two leadership levels nested within a hierarchical action team. Results suggest that: 1) a wider range of leader behaviors (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and social) than previously explored taxonomies are meaningful when examined at multiple levels within the team, 2) the nature of the situation drives the differential functionality of leader behaviors, and 3) that both subordinate leader- and team-compositional individual differences can enhance or serve as leader substitutes in team performance outcomes.