An Investigation of the Motivation to Develop as a Leader

David M. Wallace

Advisor: Stephen Zaccaro, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Reeshad Dalal, Claus Langfred

May 02, 2017, 10:30 AM to 07:30 AM


A theoretical framework for understanding the relationship between individual differences and leaders' developmental behaviors is presented. I propose a new individual-differences construct called the Motivation To Develop as a Leader (MTDL). MTDL is rooted in motivation to lead, implicit theories of leader development, and learning goal orientation. Understanding between-leader differences in motivation allows us to understand between-leader differences in engagement, an important aspect of leader development. Specifically, leaders with a general motivation to develop as a leader are more likely to seek out feedback and otherwise engage in their developmental programs. A semi-longitudinal research study, taking place in the context of an adventure-based leader developmental experience was conducted to develop empirical evidence of the nomological network surrounding MTDL.