Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Perceptual Disconnects in Leadership Emergence: An Integrated Examination of the Role of Trait Configurations, Dyadic Relationship, and Social Influence

Samantha Holland

Major Professor: Stephen Zaccaro, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Patrick McKnight, Seth Kaplan

Robinson Hall B, #215
July 16, 2015, 10:00 AM to 07:00 AM

Abstract:

The purpose of the present study is to introduce the phenomenon of perceptual disconnects in informal leadership emergence and explore their antecedents and group level consequences. Although leadership is typically recognized to be a dyadic relationship dependent on the beliefs and perspectives of both leaders and followers, informal leadership emergence is traditionally measured solely from follower perceptions. This practice effectively obscures the opportunity to detect disconnects leadership perceptions and assess the possible ramifications of these misalignments on group outcomes. We use a social network framework to measure leadership dyadically to address this gap in the literature and distinguish between three possible types of leadership by the type of perceptual alignment between leaders and followers: connected, unrequited, and unrecognized leadership. Building upon a social relations model framework, we use exponential random graph models (ERGMs) to simultaneously examine predictors of these disconnects across multiple levels of influence. Results from a sample of student project teams indicate between- and within-person trait patterns, existing non-leadership relationships, and social influences within team each contribute uniquely to predicting connected versus unrequited leadership relationships amongst members. Discussion focuses on the need for more dyadic study of leadership phenomenon and the role of complex trait patterns in leadership.The purpose of the present study is to introduce the phenomenon of perceptual disconnects in informal leadership emergence and explore their antecedents and group level consequences. Although leadership is typically recognized to be a dyadic relationship dependent on the beliefs and perspectives of both leaders and followers, informal leadership emergence is traditionally measured solely from follower perceptions. This practice effectively obscures the opportunity to detect disconnects leadership perceptions and assess the possible ramifications of these misalignments on group outcomes. We use a social network framework to measure leadership dyadically to address this gap in the literature and distinguish between three possible types of leadership by the type of perceptual alignment between leaders and followers: connected, unrequited, and unrecognized leadership. Building upon a social relations model framework, we use exponential random graph models (ERGMs) to simultaneously examine predictors of these disconnects across multiple levels of influence. Results from a sample of student project teams indicate between- and within-person trait patterns, existing non-leadership relationships, and social influences within team each contribute uniquely to predicting connected versus unrequited leadership relationships amongst members. Discussion focuses on the need for more dyadic study of leadership phenomenon and the role of complex trait patterns in leadership.

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