Read Case 10.1 on Page 237. Think of a servant leader you know (similar to Mrs. Noble). What servant leader behaviors would you say this person demonstrates? Based on the model of servant leadership (Figure 10.1), what outcomes have your selected servant leader attained? In other words, what did this person how has it affected you and your organization?( READ THE CASE PLEASE AND 1-2 PAGES ARE GOOD!!!! GOOD TIPS FOR GREAT WORK.)leadership_theory_and_practice_by_peter_g._northouse.pdfLeadership
sixth edition
To Laurel, Scott, Lisa, and Madison
Theory and practice • Sixth Edition
Peter G. Northouse
Western Michigan University
Copyright © 2013 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
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Leadership : theory and practice / Peter G.
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1. Leadership. 2. Leadership–Case studies. I. Title.
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12 13 14 15 16 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Special Features
Leadership Defined
Ways of Conceptualizing Leadership
Definition and Components
Leadership Described
Trait Versus Process Leadership
Assigned Versus Emergent Leadership
Leadership and Power
Leadership and Coercion
Leadership and Management
Plan of the Book
Trait Approach
Five-Factor Personality Model and Leadership
Emotional Intelligence
How Does the Trait Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 2.1 Choosing a New Director of Research
Case 2.2 A Remarkable Turnaround
Case 2.3 Recruiting for the Bank
Leadership Instrument
Leadership Trait Questionnaire (LTQ)
Skills Approach
Three-Skill Approach
Skills Model
How Does the Skills Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 3.1 A Strained Research Team
Case 3.2 A Shift for Lieutenant Colonel Adams
Case 3.3 Andy’s Recipe
Leadership Instrument
Skills Inventory
Style Approach
The Ohio State Studies
The University of Michigan Studies
Blake and Mouton’s Managerial (Leadership) Grid
How Does the Style Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 4.1 A Drill Sergeant at First
Case 4.2 Eating Lunch Standing Up
Case 4.3 We Are Family
Leadership Instrument
Style Questionnaire
Situational Approach
Leadership Styles
Development Levels
How Does the Situational Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 5.1 What Style Do I Use?
Case 5.2 Why Aren’t They Listening?
Case 5.3 Getting the Message Across
Leadership Instrument
Situational Leadership
Contingency Theory
Leadership Styles
Situational Variables
How Does Contingency Theory Work?
Case Studies
Case 6.1 No Control Over the Student Council
Case 6.2 Giving Him a Hard Time
Case 6.3 What’s the Best Leader Match?
Leadership Instrument
Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) Measure
Path–Goal Theory
Leader Behaviors
Subordinate Characteristics
Task Characteristics
How Does Path–Goal Theory Work?
Case Studies
Case 7.1 Three Shifts, Three Supervisors
Case 7.2 Direction for Some, Support for Others
Case 7.3 Marathon Runners at Different Levels
Leadership Instrument
Path–Goal Leadership Questionnaire
Leader–Member Exchange Theory
Early Studies
Later Studies
Leadership Making
How Does LMX Theory Work?
Case Studies
Case 8.1 His Team Gets the Best Assignments
Case 8.2 Working Hard at Being Fair
Case 8.3 Taking on Additional Responsibilities
Leadership Instrument
LMX 7 Questionnaire
Transformational Leadership
Transformational Leadership Defined
Transformational Leadership and Charisma
A Model of Transformational Leadership
Other Transformational Perspectives
How Does the Transformational Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 9.1 The Vision Failed
Case 9.2 An Exploration in Leadership
Case 9.3 Her Vision of a Model Research Center
Leadership Instrument
Sample Items From the Multifactor Leadership
Questionnaire (MLQ) Form 5X-Short
Servant Leadership
Servant Leadership Defined
Historical Basis of Servant Leadership
Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader
Building a Theory About Servant Leadership
Model of Servant Leadership
Antecedent Conditions
Servant Leader Behaviors
Summary of the Model of Servant Leadership
How Does Servant Leadership Work?
Case Studies
Case 10.1 Anonymous Servant Leaders
Case 10.2 Doctor to the Poor
Case 10.3 Servant Leadership Takes Flight
Leadership Instrument
Servant Leadership Questionnaire
Authentic Leadership
Authentic Leadership Defined
Approaches to Authentic Leadership
How Does Authentic Leadership Theory Work?
Case Studies
Case 11.1 Am I Really a Leader?
Case 11.2 A Leader Under Fire
Case 11.3 The Reluctant First Lady
Leadership Instrument
Authentic Leadership Self-Assessment Questionnaire
Team Leadership
Susan E. Kogler Hill
Team Leadership Model
How Does the Team Leadership Model Work?
Case Studies
Case 12.1 Can This Virtual Team Work?
Case 12.2 They Dominated the Conversation
Case 12.3 Starts With a Bang, Ends With a Whimper
Leadership Instrument
Team Excellence and Collaborative Team Leader
Psychodynamic Approach
Ernest L. Stech
Eric Berne and Transactional Analysis
Sigmund Freud and Personality Types
Social Character and a Shift in
Leadership Perspective
Carl Jung and Personality Types
Types and Leadership
How Does the Psychodynamic Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 13.1 Not the Type Who Sees
the Big Picture
Case 13.2 Staff Meeting Problems
Case 13.3 Unexpected Reactions
Leadership Instrument
Psychodynamic Approach Survey
Women and Leadership
Crystal L. Hoyt
Gender, Leadership Styles, and
Leadership Effectiveness
The Glass Ceiling Turned Labyrinth
Case Studies
Case 14.1 The “Glass Ceiling”
Case 14.2 Lack of Inclusion and Credibility
Case 14.3 Pregnancy as a Barrier to Job Status
Leadership Instrument
The Gender–Leader Implicit Association Test
Culture and Leadership
Culture Defined
Related Concepts
Dimensions of Culture
Clusters of World Cultures
Characteristics of Clusters
Leadership Behavior and Culture Clusters
Universally Desirable and Undesirable
Leadership Attributes
Case Studies
Case 15.1 A Challenging Workplace
Case 15.2 A Special Kind of Financing
Case 15.3 Whose Hispanic Center Is It?
Leadership Instrument
Dimensions of Culture Questionnaire
Leadership Ethics
Ethics Defined
Ethical Theories
Centrality of Ethics to Leadership
Heifetz’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership
Burns’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership
Principles of Ethical Leadership
Case Studies
Case 16.1 A Struggling Company Without
Enough Cash
Case 16.2 How Safe Is Safe?
Case 16.3 Reexamining a Proposal
Leadership Instrument
Perceived Leader Integrity Scale (PLIS)
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Author
About the Contributors
his sixth edition of Leadership: Theory and Practice is written with
the objective of bridging the gap between the often-simplistic popular approaches to leadership and the more abstract theoretical approaches.
Like the previous editions, this edition reviews and analyzes a selected
number of leadership theories, giving special attention to how each theoretical approach can be applied in real-world organizations. In essence, my
purpose is to explore how leadership theory can inform and direct the way
leadership is practiced.
New to this volume is a chapter on servant leadership, which examines
the nature of servant leadership, its underpinnings, and how it works. The
chapter presents both a definition and a new evidence-based model of
servant leadership. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses of the servant
leadership approach are examined, and a questionnaire to help readers
assess their own levels of servant leadership is provided. Three case studies
illustrating servant leadership are presented at the end of the chapter.
This edition retains many special features from previous editions but has
been updated to include new research findings, figures and tables, and
everyday applications for many leadership topics including leader–member
exchange theory, transformational and authentic leadership, team leadership, the labyrinth of women’s leadership, and historical definitions of
leadership. The format of this edition parallels the format used in earlier
editions. As with previous editions, the overall goal of Leadership: Theory
and Practice is to advance our understanding of the many different
approaches to leadership and ways to practice it more effectively.
Although this text presents and analyzes a wide range of leadership
research, every attempt has been made to present the material in a clear,
concise, and interesting manner. Reviewers of the book have consistently
commented that clarity is one of its major strengths. In addition to the
writing style, several other features of the book help make it user-friendly.
• Each chapter follows the same format: It is structured to include first
theory and then practice.
• Every chapter contains a discussion of the strengths and criticisms of
the approach under consideration, and assists the reader in determining the relative merits of each approach.
• Each chapter includes an application section that discusses the practical aspects of the approach and how it could be used in today’s
organizational settings.
• Three case studies are provided in each chapter to illustrate common leadership issues and dilemmas. Thought-provoking questions
follow each case study, helping readers to interpret the case.
• A questionnaire is provided in each of the chapters to help the reader
apply the approach to his or her own leadership style or setting.
• Figures and tables illustrate the content of the theory and make the
ideas more meaningful.
Through these special features, every effort has been made to make this
text substantive, understandable, and practical.
This book provides both an in-depth presentation of leadership theory and
a discussion of how it applies to real-life situations. Thus, it is intended for
undergraduate and graduate classes in management, leadership studies,
business, educational leadership, public administration, nursing and allied
health, social work, criminal justice, industrial and organizational psychology, communication, religion, agricultural education, political and military science, and training and development. It is particularly well suited as
a supplementary text for core organizational behavior courses or as an
overview text within MBA curricula. This book would also be useful as a
text in student activities, continuing education, in-service training, and
other leadership-development programs.
Preface xv
Instructor Teaching Site
Instructor Resources are available on the password-protected section of the
book’s companion website. Test banks include multiple choice and true/false questions to test comprehension of fundamental material, as well as essay questions that
ask students to apply the material. An electronic testbank, compatible with PCs
and Macs through Diploma software, is also available. Chapter-specific resources
include PowerPoint slides, study and discussion questions, suggested exercises, fulltext journal articles, video links, audio links, and full-text reference articles. General
resources include course-long projects, sample syllabi, and film resources.
Printable PDF versions of the questionnaires from the text are included for instructors to print and distribute for classroom use. The companion site also features
information on how to use social media with Leadership, 6th edition, including
instructions for creating wikis, blogs, and Twitter feeds to accompany the text and
specific topics to discuss using these different technologies. Go to www.sagepub.
com/northouse6e to access the companion site.
Student Study Site
To maximize students’ comprehension of this material, student resources
are available on the open-access portion of the book’s companion website.
Resources include web quizzes, SAGE journal articles with discussion
questions, video links, audio links, handbook and encyclopedia articles, and
other study aides and resources. Students can go to
northouse6e to access the site.
Media Icons
Icons appearing at the bottom of the page will direct you to online
media such as videos, audio links, journal articles, and reference articles
that correspond with key chapter concepts. Visit the Student Study Site at to access this media.
Video Icon
Audio Icon
Journal Icon
Reference Article Icon
any people directly or indirectly contributed to the development of
the sixth edition of Leadership: Theory and Practice. First, I would
like to acknowledge my editor, Lisa Shaw, and her talented team at SAGE
Publications (Mayan, MaryAnn, Helen, Sarah, and Maggie) who have
contributed significantly to the quality of this edition and ensured its success. For their very capable work during the production phase, I would like
to thank copy editor Melinda Masson, and senior project editor Eric
Garner. In his or her own unique way, each of these people made valuable
contributions to the sixth edition.
For comprehensive reviews of the sixth edition, I would like to thank
the following reviewers:
Meera Alagaraja, University of Louisville
S. Todd Deal, Georgia Southern University
Carol McMillan, New School University
Keeok Park, University of La Verne
Harriet L. Schwartz, Carlow University
Kelli K. Smith, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Danny L. Talbot, Washington State University
Robert L. Taylor, University of Louisville
John Tummons, University of Missouri
David E. Williams, Texas Tech University
Sharon A. Wulf, Worcester Polytechnic Institute School of Business
For their exceptional work creating content for the leadership profile
tool that accompanies the interactive eBook version of this text, I would
like to thank John Baker (Western Kentucky University), Isolde Anderson
(Hope College), and Eleanor Dombrowski (University of Toledo).
I would also like to thank the following people, who updated and created the excellent resources that appear on the Instructor Teaching Site
and the Student Study Site:
Isolde Anderson, Hope College
Andrea Markowitz, Write for Your Business
Lizz Mathews, Western Michigan University
Mary Mathews, Western Michigan University
Rebecca G. McBride, Old Dominion University
Trey Patrick Mitchell, Western Michigan University
Lisa J. Northouse, Western Michigan University
Anita Pankake, University of Texas–Pan American
A special acknowledgment goes to Laurel Northouse for her insightful
critiques and ongoing support. In addition, I am grateful to Marie Lee, for
her exceptional editing and guidance throughout this project. For his
review of and comments on the servant leadership chapter, I am indebted
to Robert Liden (University of Illinois at Chicago).
Finally, I would like to thank the many undergraduate and graduate
students whom I have taught through the years. Their ongoing feedback
has helped clarify my thinking about leadership and encouraged me to
make plain the practical implications of leadership theories.
eadership is a highly sought-after and highly valued commodity. In
the 15 years since the first edition of this book was published, the
public has become increasingly captivated by the idea of leadership.
People continue to ask themselves and others what makes good leaders. As
individuals, they seek more information on how to become effective
leaders. As a result, bookstore shelves are filled with popular books about
leaders and advice on how to be a leader. Many people believe that
leadership is a way to improve their personal, social, and professional lives.
Corporations seek those with leadership ability because they believe they
bring special assets to their organizations and, ultimately, improve the
bottom line. Academic institutions throughout the country have responded
by providing programs in leadership studies.
In addition, leadership has gained the attention of researchers worldwide.
A review of the scholarly studies on leadership shows that there is a wide variety
of different theoretical approaches to explain the complexities of the leadership process (e.g., Bass, 1990; Bryman, 1992; Bryman, Collinson, Grint, Jackson & Uhl-Bien, 2011; Day & Antonakis, 2012; Gardner, 1990; Hickman,
2009; Mumford, 2006; Rost, 1991). Some researchers conceptualize leadership as a trait or as a behavior, whereas others view leadership from an information-processing perspective or relational standpoint. Leadership has been
studied using both qualitative and quantitative methods in many contexts,
including small groups, therapeutic groups, and large organizations. Collectively, the research findings on leadership from all of these areas provide a
picture of a process that is far more sophisticated and complex than the oftensimplistic view presented in some of the popular books on leadership.
This book treats leadership as a complex process having multiple
dimensions. Based on the research literature, this text provides an in-depth
1.1 Emerging Practices
1.2 Leadership in Nursing
description and application of many different approaches to leadership.
Our emphasis is on how theory can inform the practice of leadership. In
this book, we describe each theory and then explain how the theory can be
used in real situations.
There are many ways to finish the sentence, “Leadership is. . . .” In fact, as
Stogdill (1974, p. 7) pointed out in a review of leadership research, there
are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are people
who have tried to define it. It is much like the words democracy, love, and
peace. Although each of us intuitively knows what we mean by such words,
the words can have different meanings for different people. As Box 1.1
shows, scholars and practitioners have attempted to define leadership for
more than a century without universal consensus.
Box 1.1 The Evolution of Leadership Definitions
While many have a gut-level grasp of what leadership is, putting a
definition to the term has proved to be a challenging endeavor for
scholars and practitioners alike. More than a century has lapsed since
leadership became a topic of academic introspection, and definitions
have evolved continuously during that period. These definitions have
been influenced by many factors from world affairs and politics to the
perspectives of the discipline in which the topic is being studied. In a
seminal work, Rost (1991) analyzed materials written from 1900 to
1990, finding more than 200 different definitions for leadership. His
analysis provides a succinct history of how leadership has been defined
through the last century:
Definitions of leadership appearing in the first three decades of the 20th
century emphasized control and centralization of power with a common
theme of domination. For example, at a conference on leadership in
1927, leadership was defined as “the ability to impress the will of the
leader on those led and induce obedience, respect, loyalty, and cooperation” (Moore, 1927, p. 124).
1.1 Development of Leadership
Chapter 1 Introduction 3
Traits became the focus of defining leadership, with an emerging view of
leadership as influence rather than domination. Leadership is also identified as the interaction of an individual’s specific personality traits with
those of a group, noting that while the attitudes and activities of the
many are changed by the one, the many may also influence a leader.
The group approach came into the forefront with leadership being
defined as the behavior of an individual while involved in directing group
activities (Hemphill, 1949). At the same time, leadership by persuasion is
distinguished from “drivership” or leadership by coercion (Copeland,
Three themes dominated leadership definitions during this decade:
•• continuance of group theory, which framed leadership as
what leaders do in groups;
•• leadership as a relationship that develops shared goals,
which defined leadership based on behavior of the leader; and
•• effectiveness, in which leadership is defined by the ability to
influence overall group effectiveness.
Although a tumultuous time for world affairs, the 1960s saw harmony
amongst leadership scholars. The prevailing definition of leadership as
behavior that influences people toward shared goals was underscored by
Seeman (1960) who described leadership as “acts by persons which
influence other persons in a shared direction” (p. 53).
The group focus gave way to the organizational behavior approach, where
leadership became viewed as “initiating and maintaining groups or organizations to accomplish group or organizational goals” (Rost, 1991, p. 59). Burns’s
(1978) definition, however, is the most important concept of leadership to
emerge: “Leadership is the reciprocal process of mobilizing by persons with
certain motives and values, various economic, political, and other resources,
in a context of competition and conflict, in order to realize goals independently or mutually held by both leaders and followers” (p. 425).
1.3 Perspectives of Leadership
1.4 Followership
This decade exploded with scholarly and popular works on the nature
of leadership, bringing the topic to the apex of the academic and public
consciousnesses. As a result, the number of definitions for leadership
became a prolific stew with several persevering themes:
•• Do as the leader wishes. Leadership definitions still predominantly deliver the message that leadership is getting followers to
do what the leader wants done.
•• Influence. Probably the most often used word in leadership definitions of the 1980s, influence is examined from every angle. In an
effort to distinguish leadership from management, however, scholars insist that leadership is noncoercive influence.
•• Traits. Spurred by the national bestseller In Search of Excellence
(Peters & Waterman, 1982), the leadership-as-excellence movement brought leader traits back to the spotlight. As a result, many
people’s understanding of leadership is based on a trait orientation.
•• Transformation. Burns (1978) is credited for initiating a movement defining leadership as a transformational process, stating
that leadership occurs “when one or more persons engage with
others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another
to higher levels of motivation and morality” (p. 83).
Into the 21st Century
After decades of dissonance, leadership scholars agree on one thing:
They can’t come up with a common definition for leadership. Debate
continues as to whether leadership and management are separate processes, while others emphasize the trait, skill, or relational aspects of
leadership. Because of such factors as growing global influences and
generational differences, leadership will continue to have different meanings for different people. The bottom line is that leadership is a complex
concept for which a determined definition may long be in flux.
SOURCE: Adapted from Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, by J. C. Rost, 1991,
New York: Praeger.
Ways of Conceptualizing Leadership
In the past 60 years, as many as 65 different classification systems have
been developed to define the dimensions of leadership (Fleishman et al.,
1991). One such classification system, directly related to our discussion, is
1.1 Leadership and Power
1.5 Leadership in Organizations
Chapter 1 Introduction 5
the scheme proposed by Bass (1990, pp. 11–20). He suggested that some
definitions view leadership as the focus of group processes. From this perspective, the leader is at the center of group change and activity and
embodies the will of the group. Another set of definitions conceptualizes
leadership from a personality perspective, which suggests that leadership is
a combination of special traits or characteristics that some individuals possess. These traits enable those individuals to induce others to accomplish
tasks. Other approaches to leadership define it as an act or a behavior—the
things leaders do to bring about change in a group.
In addition, some define leadership in terms of the power relationship
that exists between leaders and followers. From this viewpoint, leaders
have power that they wield to effect change in others. Others view leadership as a transformational process that moves followers to accomplish more
than is usually expected of them. Finally, some scholars address leadership
from a skills perspective. This viewpoint stresses the capabilities (knowledge and skills) that make effective leadership possible.
Definition and Components
Despite the multitude of ways in which leadership has been conceptualized, the following components can be identified as central to the phenomenon: (a) Leadership is a process, (b) leadership involves influence,
(c) leadership occurs in groups, and (d) leadership involves common goals.
Based on these components, the following definition of leadership is used
in this text:
Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of
individuals to achieve a common goal.
Defining leadership as a process means that it is not a trait or characteristic that resides in the leader, but rather a transactional event that occurs
between the leader and the followers. Process implies that a leader affects
and is affected by followers. It emphasizes that leadership is not a linear,
one-way event, but rather an interactive event. When leadership is defined
in this manner, it becomes available to everyone. It is not restricted to the
formally designated leader in a group.
Leadership involves influence. It is concerned with how the leader
affects followers. Influence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without
influence, leadership does not exist.
Leadership occurs in groups. Groups are the context in which leadership
takes place. Leadership involves influencing a group of individuals who have
1.2 Role of Leadership
1.2 Working Across Generations
a common purpose. This can be a small task group, a community group, or
a large group encompassing an entire organization. Leadership is about
one individual influencing a group of others to accomplish common goals.
Others (a group) are required for leadership to occur. Leadership training
programs that teach people to lead themselves are not considered a part of
leadership within the definition that is set forth in this discussion.
Leadership includes attention to common goals. Leaders direct their energies toward individuals who are trying to achieve something together. By
common, we mean that the leaders and followers have a mutual purpose.
Attention to common goals gives leadership an ethical overtone because it
stresses the need for leaders to work with followers to achieve selected goals.
Stressing mutuality lessens the possibility that leaders might act toward followers in ways that are forced or unethical. It also increases the possibility that
leaders and followers will work together toward a common good (Rost, 1991).
Throughout this text, the people who engage in leadership will be
called leaders, and those toward whom leadership is directed will be called
followers. Both leaders and followers are involved together in the leadership process. Leaders need followers, and followers need leaders (Burns,
1978; Heller & Van Til, 1983; Hollander, 1992; Jago, 1982). Although
leaders and followers are closely linked, it is the leader who often initiates
the relationship, creates the communication linkages, and carries the burden for maintaining the relationship.
In our discussion of leaders and followers, attention will be directed
toward follower issues as well as leader issues. Leaders have an ethical
responsibility to attend to the needs and concerns of followers. As Burns
(1978) pointed out, discussions of leadership sometimes are viewed as elitist
because of the implied power and importance often ascribed to leaders in
the leader-follower relationship. Leaders are not above or better than followers. Leaders and followers must be understood in relation to each other
(Hollander, 1992) and collectively (Burns, 1978). They are in the leadership relationship together—and are two sides of the same coin (Rost, 1991).
In addition to definitional issues, it is also important to discuss several other
questions pertaining to the nature of leadership. In the following section,
we will address questions such as how leadership as a trait differs from
Chapter 1 Introduction 7
leadership as a process; how appointed leadership differs from emergent
leadership; and how the concepts of power, coercion, and management
differ from leadership.
Trait Versus Process Leadership
We have all heard statements such as “He is born to be a leader” or “She
is a natural leader.” These statements are commonly expressed by people
who take a trait perspective toward leadership. The trait perspective suggests that certain individuals have special innate or inborn characteristics
or qualities that make them leaders, and that it is these qualities that differentiate them from nonleaders. Some of the personal qualities used to
identify leaders include unique physical factors (e.g., height), personality
features (e.g., extraversion), and other characteristics (e.g., intelligence
and fluency; Bryman, 1992). In Chapter 2, we will discuss a large body of
research that has examined these personal qualities.
To describe leadership as a trait is quite different from describing it as a
process (Figure 1.1). The trait viewpoint conceptualizes leadership as a
property or set of properties possessed in varying degrees by different people
(Jago, 1982). This suggests that it resides in select people and restricts leadership to those who are believed to have special, usually inborn, talents.
Figure 1.1 The Different Views of Leadership

Other Traits
SOURCE: Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management
(pp. 3–8), by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York: Free Press.
The process viewpoint suggests that leadership is a phenomenon that
resides in the context of the interactions between leaders and followers and
makes leadership available to everyone. As a process, leadership can be
observed in leader behaviors (Jago, 1982), and can be learned. The process
definition of leadership is consistent with the definition of leadership that
we have set forth in this chapter.
Assigned Versus Emergent Leadership
Some people are leaders because of their formal position in an organization, whereas others are leaders because of the way other group members respond to them. These two common forms of leadership are called
assigned leadership and emergent leadership. Leadership that is based on
occupying a position in an organization is assigned leadership. Team leaders, plant managers, department heads, directors, and administrators are all
examples of assigned leadership.
Yet the person assigned to a leadership position does not always become the
real leader in a particular setting. When others perceive an individual as the
most influential member of a group or an organization, regardless of the individual’s title, the person is exhibiting emergent leadership. The individual
acquires emergent leadership through other people in the organization who
support and accept that individual’s behavior. This type of leadership is not
assigned by position; rather, it emerges over a period through communication.
Some of the positive communication behaviors that account for successful
leader emergence include being verbally involved, being informed, seeking others’ opinions, initiating new ideas, and being firm but not rigid (Fisher, 1974).
In addition to communication behaviors, researchers have found that
personality plays a role in leadership emergence. For example, Smith and
Foti (1998) found that certain personality traits were related to leadership
emergence in a sample of 160 male college students. The individuals who
were more dominant, more intelligent, and more confident about their
own performance (general self-efficacy) were more likely to be identified
as leaders by other members of their task group. Although it is uncertain
whether these findings apply to women as well, Smith and Foti suggested
that these three traits could be used to identify individuals perceived to be
emergent leaders.
Leadership emergence may also be affected by gender-biased perceptions. In a study of 40 mixed-sex college groups, Watson and Hoffman (2004)
1.3 Effective Leadership
Chapter 1 Introduction 9
found that women who were urged to persuade their task groups to adopt
high-quality decisions succeeded with the same frequency as men with
identical instructions. Although women were equally influential leaders in
their groups, they were rated significantly lower than comparable men
were on leadership. Furthermore, these influential women were also rated
as significantly less likable than comparably influential men were. These
results suggest that there continue to be barriers to women’s emergence as
leaders in some settings.
A unique perspective on leadership emergence is provided by social
identity theory (Hogg, 2001). From this perspective, leadership emergence
is the degree to which a person fits with the identity of the group as a
whole. As groups develop over time, a group prototype also develops. Individuals emerge as leaders in the group when they become most like the
group prototype. Being similar to the prototype makes leaders attractive to
the group and gives them influence with the group.
The leadership approaches we discuss in the subsequent chapters of this
book apply equally to assigned leadership and emergent leadership. When
a person is engaged in leadership, that person is a leader, whether leadership was assigned or emerged. This book focuses on the leadership process
that occurs when any individual is engaged in influencing other group
members in their efforts to reach a common goal.
Leadership and Power
The concept of power is related to leadership because it is part of the
influence process. Power is the capacity or potential to influence. People
have power when they have the ability to affect others’ beliefs, attitudes, and
courses of action. Ministers, doctors, coaches, and teachers are all examples
of people who have the potential to influence us. When they do, they are
using their power, the resource they draw on to effect change in us.
The most widely cited research on power is French and Raven’s (1959)
work on the bases of social power. In their work, they conceptualized
power from the framework of a dyadic relationship that included both the
person influencing and the person being influenced. French and Raven
identified five common and important bases of power: referent, expert,
legitimate, reward, and coercive (Table 1.1). Each of these bases of power
increases a leader’s capacity to influence the attitudes, values, or behaviors
of others.
1.3 Nursing Roles in Heathcare
1.1 Power and Leadership
Table 1.1 Five Bases of Power
Referent Power
Based on followers’ identification and liking for the leader.
A teacher who is adored by students has referent power.
Expert Power
Based on followers’ perceptions of the leader’s
competence. A tour guide who is knowledgeable about a
foreign country has expert power.
Associated with having status or formal job authority.
A judge who administers sentences in the courtroom
exhibits legitimate power.
Reward Power
Derived from having the capacity to provide rewards to
others. A supervisor who gives rewards to employees who
work hard is using reward power.
Coercive Power
Derived from having the capacity to penalize or punish
others. A coach who sits players on the bench for being
late to practice is using coercive power.
SOURCE: Adapted from “The Bases of Social Power,” by J. R. French Jr. and B. Raven, 1962,
in D. Cartwright (Ed.), Group Dynamics: Research and Theory (pp. 259–269), New York:
Harper & Row.
In organizations, there are two major kinds of power: position power
and personal power. Position power is the power a person derives from a
particular office or rank in a formal organizational system. It is the influence capacity a leader derives from having higher status than the followers
have. Vice presidents and department heads have more power than staff
personnel do because of the positions they hold in the organization. Position power includes legitimate, reward, and coercive power (Table 1.2).
Personal power is the influence capacity a leader derives from being
seen by followers as likable and knowledgeable. When leaders act in ways
that are important to followers, it gives leaders power. For example, some
managers have power because their subordinates consider them to be
good role models. Others have power because their subordinates view
them as highly competent or considerate. In both cases, these managers’
power is ascribed to them by others, based on how they are seen in their
relationships with others. Personal power includes referent and expert
power (see Table 1.2).
In discussions of leadership, it is not unusual for leaders to be described
as wielders of power, as individuals who dominate others. In these
instances, power is conceptualized as a tool that leaders use to achieve
1.4 Bases of Power
Chapter 1 Introduction 11
Table 1.2 Types and Bases of Power
Position Power
Personal Power
SOURCE: Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management
(pp. 3–8), by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York: Free Press.
their own ends. Contrary to this view of power, Burns (1978) emphasized
power from a relationship standpoint. For Burns, power is not an entity
that leaders use over others to achieve their own ends; instead, power
occurs in relationships. It should be used by leaders and followers to promote their collective goals.
In this text, our discussions of leadership treat power as a relational
concern for both leaders and followers. We pay attention to how leaders
work with followers to reach common goals.
Leadership and Coercion
Coercive power is one of the specific kinds of power available to leaders.
Coercion involves the use of force to effect change. To coerce means to
influence others to do something against their will and may include
manipulating penalties and rewards in their work environment. Coercion
often involves the use of threats, punishment, and negative reward schedules. Classic examples of coercive leaders are Adolf Hitler in Germany, the
Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, Jim Jones in Guyana, and North Korea’s
Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il, each of whom has used power and restraint
to force followers to engage in extreme behaviors.
It is important to distinguish between coercion and leadership because
it allows us to separate out from our examples of leadership the behaviors
of individuals such as Hitler, the Taliban, and Jones. In our discussions of
leadership, coercive people are not used as models of ideal leadership. Our
definition suggests that leadership is reserved for those who influence a
group of individuals toward a common goal. Leaders who use coercion are
interested in their own goals and seldom are interested in the wants and
needs of subordinates. Using coercion runs counter to working with followers to achieve a common goal.
1.4 Leadership and Coercion
1.2 Leadership Defined
Leadership and Management
Leadership is a process that is similar to management in many ways.
Leadership involves influence, as does management. Leadership entails
working with people, which management entails as well. Leadership is concerned with effective goal accomplishment, and so is management. In general, many of the functions of management are activities that are consistent
with the definition of leadership we set forth at the beginning of this chapter.
But leadership is also different from management. Whereas the study of
leadership can be traced back to Aristotle, management emerged around
the turn of the 20th century with the advent of our industrialized society.
Management was created as a way to reduce chaos in organizations, to
make them run more effectively and efficiently. The primary functions of
management, as first identified by Fayol (1916), were planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling. These functions are still representative of the
field of management today.
In a book that compared the functions of management with the functions of leadership, Kotter (1990) argued that the functions of the two are
quite dissimilar (Figure 1.2). The overriding function of management is to
Figure 1.2 Functions of Management and Leadership
Produces Order and Consistency
Produces Change and Movement
Planning and Budgeting
Establishing Direction
• Establish agendas
• Set timetables
• Allocate resources
Organizing and Staffing
• Provide structure
• Make job placements
• Establish rules and procedures
Controlling and Problem Solving
• Develop incentives
• Generate creative solutions
• Take corrective action
• Create a vision
• Clarify big picture
• Set strategies
Aligning People
• Communicate goals
• Seek commitment
• Build teams and coalitions
Motivating and Inspiring
• Inspire and energize
• Empower subordinates
• Satisfy unmet needs
SOURCE: Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management
(pp. 3–8), by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York: Free Press.
Chapter 1 Introduction 13
provide order and consistency to organizations, whereas the primary function of leadership is to produce change and movement. Management is
about seeking order and stability; leadership is about seeking adaptive and
constructive change.
As illustrated in Figure 1.2, the major activities of management are
played out differently than the activities of leadership. Although they are
different in scope, Kotter (1990, pp. 7–8) contended that both management
and leadership are essential if an organization is to prosper. For example, if
an organization has strong management without leadership, the outcome
can be stifling and bureaucratic. Conversely, if an organization has strong
leadership without management, the outcome can be meaningless or misdirected change for change’s sake. To be effective, organizations need to
nourish both competent management and skilled leadership.
Many scholars, in addition to Kotter (1990), argue that leadership and
management are distinct constructs. For example, Bennis and Nanus
(1985) maintained that there is a significant difference between the two.
To manage means to accomplish activities and master routines, whereas to
lead means to influence others and create visions for change. Bennis and
Nanus made the distinction very clear in their frequently quoted sentence,
“Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do
the right thing” (p. 221).
Rost (1991) has also been a proponent of distinguishing between leadership and management. He contended that leadership is a multidirectional
influence relationship and management is a unidirectional authority relationship. Whereas leadership is concerned with the process of developing
mutual purposes, management is directed toward coordinating activities in
order to get a job done. Leaders and followers work together to create real
change, whereas managers and subordinates join forces to sell goods and
services (Rost, 1991, pp. 149–152).
Approaching the issue from a narrower viewpoint, Zaleznik (1977) went
so far as to argue that leaders and managers themselves are distinct, and
that they are basically different types of people. He contended that managers are reactive and prefer to work with people to solve problems but do so
with low emotional involvement. They act to limit choices. Zaleznik suggested that leaders, on the other hand, are emotionally active and involved.
They seek to shape ideas instead of responding to them and act to expand
the available options to solve long-standing problems. Leaders change the
way people think about what is possible.
Although there are clear differences between management and leadership, the two constructs overlap. When managers are involved in influencing a group to meet its goals, they are involved in leadership. When leaders
are involved in planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling, they are
involved in management. Both processes involve influencing a group of
individuals toward goal attainment. For purposes of our discussion in this
book, we focus on the leadership process. In our examples and case studies, we treat the roles of managers and leaders similarly and do not emphasize the differences between them.
This book is user-friendly. It is based on substantive theories but is written
to emphasize practice and application. Each chapter in the book follows
the same format. The first section of each chapter briefly describes the
leadership approach and discusses various research studies applicable to
the approach. The second section of each chapter evaluates the approach,
highlighting its strengths and criticisms. Special attention is given to how
the approach contributes or fails to contribute to an overall understanding
of the leadership process. The next section uses case studies to prompt
discussion of how the approach can be applied in ongoing organizations.
Finally, each chapter provides a leadership questionnaire along with a
discussion of how the questionnaire measures the reader’s leadership style.
Each chapter ends with a summary and references.
Leadership is a topic with universal appeal; in the popular press and
academic research literature, much has been written about leadership.
Despite the abundance of writing on the topic, leadership has presented
a major challenge to practitioners and researchers interested in understanding the nature of leadership. It is a highly valued phenomenon that
is very complex.
Through the years, leadership has been defined and conceptualized
in many ways. The component common to nearly all classifications is
that leadership is an influence process that assists groups of individuals
toward goal attainment. Specifically, in this book leadership is defined as
Chapter 1 Introduction 15
a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to
achieve a common goal.
Because both leaders and followers are part of the leadership process, it
is important to address issues that confront followers as well as issues that
confront leaders. Leaders and followers should be understood in relation
to each other.
In prior research, many studies have focused on leadership as a trait.
The trait perspective suggests that certain people in our society have special inborn qualities that make them leaders. This view restricts leadership
to those who are believed to have special characteristics. In contrast, the
approach in this text suggests that leadership is a process that can be
learned, and that it is available to everyone.
Two common forms of leadership are assigned and emergent. Assigned
leadership is based on a formal title or position in an organization. Emergent leadership results from what one does and how one acquires support
from followers. Leadership, as a process, applies to individuals in both
assigned roles and emergent roles.
Related to leadership is the concept of power, the potential to influence. There are two major kinds of power: position and personal. Position
power, which is much like assigned leadership, is the power an individual
derives from having a title in a formal organizational system. It includes
legitimate, reward, and coercive power. Personal power comes from followers and includes referent and expert power. Followers give it to leaders
because followers believe leaders have something of value. Treating power
as a shared resource is important because it deemphasizes the idea that
leaders are power wielders.
While coercion has been a common power brought to bear by many
individuals in charge, it should not be viewed as ideal leadership. Our
definition of leadership stresses using influence to bring individuals toward
a common goal, while coercion involves the use of threats and punishment
to induce change in followers for the sake of the leaders. Coercion runs
counter to leadership because it does not treat leadership as a process that
emphasizes working with followers to achieve shared objectives.
Leadership and management are different concepts that overlap. They
are different in that management traditionally focuses on the activities of
planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling, whereas leadership
emphasizes the general influence process. According to some researchers,
management is concerned with creating order and stability, whereas leadership is about adaptation and constructive change. Other researchers go
so far as to argue that managers and leaders are different types of people,
with managers being more reactive and less emotionally involved and
leaders being more proactive and more emotionally involved. The overlap between leadership and management is centered on how both involve
influencing a group of individuals in goal attainment.
In this book, we discuss leadership as a complex process. Based on the
research literature, we describe selected approaches to leadership and
assess how they can be used to improve leadership in real situations.
Visit the Student Study Site at
for web quizzes, leadership questionnaires, and media links represented by the icons.
Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s handbook of leadership: A survey of theory
and research. New York: Free Press.
Bennis, W. G., & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. New York:
Harper & Row.
Bryman, A. (1992). Charisma and leadership in organizations. London: Sage.
Bryman, A., Collinson, D., Grint, K., Jackson, G., Uhl-Bien, M. (Eds.). (2011).
The SAGE handbook of leadership. London, UK: Sage.
Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.
Copeland, N. (1942). Psychology and the soldier. Harrisburg, PA: Military Service
Day, D. V., & Antonakis, J. (Eds.). (2012). The nature of leadership (2nd ed.).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Fayol, H. (1916). General and industrial management. London: Pitman.
Fisher, B. A. (1974). Small group decision making: Communication and the group
process. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Fleishman, E. A., Mumford, M. D., Zaccaro, S. J., Levin, K. Y., Korotkin, A. L., &
Hein, M. B. (1991). Taxonomic efforts in the description of leader behavior: A
synthesis and functional interpretation. Leadership Quarterly, 2(4), 245–287.
French, J. R., Jr., & Raven, B. (1959). The bases of social power. In D. Cartwright
(Ed.), Studies in social power (pp. 259–269). Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social
Gardner, J. W. (1990). On leadership. New York: Free Press.
Chapter 1 Introduction 17
Heller, T., & Van Til, J. (1983). Leadership and followership: Some summary
propositions. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 18, 405–414.
Hemphill, J. K. (1949). Situational factors in leadership. Columbus: Ohio State
University, Bureau of Educational Research.
Hickman, G. R. (Ed.). (2009). Leading organizations: Perspectives for a new era
(2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hogg, M. A. (2001). A social identity theory of leadership. Personality and Social
Psychology Review, 5, 184–200.
Hollander, E. P. (1992). Leadership, followership, self, and others. Leadership
Quarterly, 3(1), 43–54.
Jago, A. G. (1982). Leadership: Perspectives in theory and research. Management
Science, 28(3), 315–336.
Kotter, J. P. (1990). A force for change: How leadership differs from management.
New York: Free Press.
Moore, B. V. (1927). The May conference on leadership. Personnel Journal, 6,
Mumford, M. D. (2006). Pathways to outstanding leadership: A comparative
analysis of charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic leaders. Mahwah, NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum.
Peters, T. J., & Waterman, R. H. (1982). In search of excellence: Lessons from
America’s best-run companies. New York: Warner Books.
Rost, J. C. (1991). Leadership for the twenty-first century. New York: Praeger.
Seeman, M. (1960). Social status and leadership. Columbus: Ohio State
University, Bureau of Educational Research.
Smith, J. A., & Foti, R. J. (1998). A pattern approach to the study of leader
emergence. Leadership Quarterly, 9(2), 147–160.
Stogdill, R. M. (1974). Handbook of leadership: A survey of theory and research.
New York: Free Press.
Watson, C., & Hoffman, L. R. (2004). The role of task-related behavior in the
emergence of leaders. Group & Organization Management, 29(6), 659–685.
Zaleznik, A. (1977, May–June). Managers and leaders: Are they different? Harvard
Business Review, 55, 67–78.
Trait Approach
Of interest to scholars throughout the 20th century, the trait approach
was one of the first systematic attempts to study leadership. In the early
20th century, leadership traits were studied to determine what made certain
people great leaders. The theories that were developed were called “great
man” theories because they focused on identifying the innate qualities and
characteristics possessed by great social, political, and military leaders (e.g.,
Catherine the Great, Mohandas Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln,
Joan of Arc, and Napoleon Bonaparte). It was believed that people were
born with these traits, and that only the “great” people possessed them.
During this time, research concentrated on determining the specific traits
that clearly differentiated leaders from followers (Bass, 1990; Jago, 1982).
In the mid-20th century, the trait approach was challenged by research
that questioned the universality of leadership traits. In a major review,
Stogdill (1948) suggested that no consistent set of traits differentiated
leaders from nonleaders across a variety of situations. An individual with
leadership traits who was a leader in one situation might not be a leader in
another situation. Rather than being a quality that individuals possess,
leadership was reconceptualized as a relationship between people in a
social situation. Personal factors related to leadership continued to be
important, but researchers contended that these factors were to be considered as relative to the requirements of the situation.
The trait approach has generated much interest among researchers for
its explanation of how traits influence leadership (Bryman, 1992). For
example, an analysis of much of the previous trait research by Lord,
DeVader, and Alliger (1986) found that personality traits were strongly
associated with individuals’ perceptions of leadership. Similarly, Kirkpatrick
2.1 Everyday Leaders
2.1 Study of Leadership
and Locke (1991) went so far as to claim that effective leaders are actually
distinct types of people in several key respects.
The trait approach has earned new interest through the current emphasis given by many researchers to visionary and charismatic leadership (see
Bass, 1990; Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Nadler & Tushman, 1989; Zaccaro,
2007; Zaleznik, 1977). Charismatic leadership catapulted to the forefront
of public attention with the 2008 election of the United States’ first African
American president, Barack Obama, who is charismatic, among many
other attributes. In a study to determine what distinguishes charismatic
leaders from others, Jung and Sosik (2006) found that charismatic leaders
consistently possess traits of self-monitoring, engagement in impression
management, motivation to attain social power, and motivation to attain
self-actualization. In short, the trait approach is alive and well. It began
with an emphasis on identifying the qualities of great persons, shifted to
include the impact of situations on leadership, and, currently, has shifted
back to reemphasize the critical role of traits in effective leadership.
Although the research on traits spanned the entire 20th century, a good
overview of this approach is found in two surveys completed by Stogdill
(1948, 1974). In his first survey, Stogdill analyzed and synthesized more
than 124 trait studies conducted between 1904 and 1947. In his second
study, he analyzed another 163 studies completed between 1948 and 1970.
By taking a closer look at each of these reviews, we can obtain a clearer
picture of how individuals’ traits contribute to the leadership process.
Stogdill’s first survey identified a group of important leadership traits
that were related to how individuals in various groups became leaders. His
results showed that the average individual in the leadership role is different
from an average group member with regard to the following eight traits:
intelligence, alertness, insight, responsibility, initiative, persistence, selfconfidence, and sociability.
The findings of Stogdill’s first survey also indicated that an individual
does not become a leader solely because that individual possesses certain
traits. Rather, the traits that leaders possess must be relevant to situations in
which the leader is functioning. As stated earlier, leaders in one situation
may not necessarily be leaders in another situation. Findings showed that
leadership was not a passive state but resulted from a working relationship
between the leader and other group members. This research marked the
beginning of a new approach to leadership research that focused on leadership behaviors and leadership situations.
2.2 Role of Consultant Nurses
2.1 Trait Leadership
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 21
Stogdill’s second survey, published in 1974, analyzed 163 new studies
and compared the findings of these studies to the findings he had reported
in his first survey. The second survey was more balanced in its description
of the role of traits and leadership. Whereas the first survey implied that
leadership is determined principally by situational factors and not personality factors, the second survey argued more moderately that both personality and situational factors were determinants of leadership. In essence, the
second survey validated the original trait idea that a leader’s characteristics
are indeed a part of leadership.
Similar to the first survey, Stogdill’s second survey also identified traits
that were positively associated with leadership. The list included the following 10 characteristics:
1. drive for responsibility and task completion;
2. vigor and persistence in pursuit of goals;
3. risk taking and originality in problem solving;
4. drive to exercise initiative in social situations;
5. self-confidence and sense of personal identity;
6. willingness to accept consequences of decision and action;
7. readiness to absorb interpersonal stress;
8. willingness to tolerate frustration and delay;
9. ability to influence other people’s behavior; and
10. capacity to structure social interaction systems to the purpose at hand.
Mann (1959) conducted a similar study that examined more than 1,400
findings regarding personality and leadership in small groups, but he
placed less emphasis on how situational factors influenced leadership.
Although tentative in his conclusions, Mann suggested that personality
traits could be used to distinguish leaders from nonleaders. His results
identified leaders as strong in the following six traits: intelligence, masculinity, adjustment, dominance, extraversion, and conservatism.
Lord et al. (1986) reassessed Mann’s (1959) findings using a more
sophisticated procedure called meta-analysis. Lord et al. found that intelligence, masculinity, and dominance were significantly related to how
individuals perceived leaders. From their findings, the authors argued
2.1 Great Man Theory
strongly that personality traits could be used to make discriminations consistently across situations between leaders and nonleaders.
Both of these studies were conducted during periods in American history where male leadership was prevalent in most aspects of business and
society. In Chapter 14, we explore more contemporary research regarding
the role of gender in leadership, and we look at whether traits such as
masculinity and dominance still bear out as important factors in distinguishing between leaders and nonleaders.
Yet another review argues for the importance of leadership traits: Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991, p. 59) contended that “it is unequivocally clear
that leaders are not like other people.” From a qualitative synthesis of
earlier research, Kirkpatrick and Locke postulated that leaders differ
from nonleaders on six traits: drive, motivation, integrity, confidence,
cognitive ability, and task knowledge. According to these writers, individuals can be born with these traits, they can learn them, or both. It is
these six traits that make up the “right stuff” for leaders. Kirkpatrick and
Locke contended that leadership traits make some people different from
others, and this difference should be recognized as an important part of
the leadership process.
In the 1990s, researchers began to investigate the leadership traits associated with “social intelligence,” characterized as those abilities to understand one’s own and others’ feelings, behaviors, and thoughts and to act
appropriately (Marlowe, 1986). Zaccaro (2002) defined social intelligence as having such capacities as social awareness, social acumen, selfmonitoring, and the ability to select and enact the best response given the
contingencies of the situation and social environment. A number of
empirical studies showed these capacities to be a key trait for effective
leaders. Zaccaro, Kemp, and Bader (2004) included such social abilities
in the categories of leadership traits they outlined as important leadership
attributes (see Table 2.1).
Table 2.1 provides a summary of the traits and characteristics that were
identified by researchers from the trait approach. It illustrates clearly the
breadth of traits related to leadership. Table 2.1 also shows how difficult it
is to select certain traits as definitive leadership traits; some of the traits
appear in several of the survey studies, whereas others appear in only one
or two studies. Regardless of the lack of precision in Table 2.1, however, it
represents a general convergence of research regarding which traits are
leadership traits.
2.3 Importance of Leadership Traits
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 23
Table 2.1 Studies of Leadership Traits and Characteristics
and Locke
intelligence drive
masculinity motivation
dominance integrity
cognitive ability
task knowledge
Kemp, and
Bader (2004)
cognitive abilities
emotional stability
social intelligence
problem solving
SOURCES: Adapted from “The Bases of Social Power,” by J. R. P. French, Jr., and B. Raven, 1962, in
D. Cartwright (Ed.), Group Dynamics: Research and Theory (pp. 259–269), New York: Harper and Row; Zaccoro,
Kemp, & Bader (2004).
What, then, can be said about trait research? What has a century of
research on the trait approach given us that is useful? The answer is an
extended list of traits that individuals might hope to possess or wish to
cultivate if they want to be perceived by others as leaders. Some of the traits
that are central to this list include intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability (Table 2.2).
Table 2.2 Major Leadership Traits
• Intelligence
• Self-confidence
• Determination
• Integrity
• Sociability
Intelligence or intellectual ability is positively related to leadership.
Based on their analysis of a series of recent studies on intelligence and
2.2 Essence of Leadership
various indices of leadership, Zaccaro et al. (2004) found support for the
finding that leaders tend to have higher intelligence than nonleaders. Having strong verbal ability, perceptual ability, and reasoning appears to make
one a better leader. Although it is good to be bright, the research also
indicates that a leader’s intellectual ability should not differ too much from
that of the subordinates. If the leader’s IQ is very different from that of the
followers, it can have a counterproductive impact on leadership. Leaders
with higher abilities may have difficulty communicating with followers
because they are preoccupied or because their ideas are too advanced for
their followers to accept.
An example of a leader for whom intelligence was a key trait was Steve
Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple Computers. Jobs once said, “I have this
really incredible product inside me and I have to get it out” (Sculley, 2011,
p. 27). Those visionary products, first the Apple II and Macintosh computers and then iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, have revolutionized the personal computer and electronic device industry, changing the way people
play and work.
In the next chapter of this text, which addresses leadership from a skills
perspective, intelligence is identified as a trait that significantly contributes
to a leader’s acquisition of complex problem-solving skills and social judgment skills. Intelligence is described as having a positive impact on an
individual’s capacity for effective leadership.
Self-confidence is another trait that helps one to be a leader. Selfconfidence is the ability to be certain about one’s competencies and skills.
It includes a sense of self-esteem and self-assurance and the belief that one
can make a difference. Leadership involves influencing others, and selfconfidence allows the leader to feel assured that his or her attempts to
influence others are appropriate and right.
Again, Steve Jobs is a good example of a self-confident leader. When
Jobs described the devices he wanted to create, many people said they
weren’t possible. But Jobs never doubted his products would change the
world, and, despite resistance, he did things the way he thought best. “Jobs
was one of those CEOs who ran the company like he wanted to. He
believed he knew more about it than anyone else, and he probably did,”
said a colleague (Stone, 2011).
2.2 Steve Jobs
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 25
Many leaders also exhibit determination. Determination is the desire to
get the job done and includes characteristics such as initiative, persistence,
dominance, and drive. People with determination are willing to assert
themselves, are proactive, and have the capacity to persevere in the face of
obstacles. Being determined includes showing dominance at times and in
situations where followers need to be directed.
Lance Armstrong has shown determination in a number of ways. The
seven-time Tour de France champion has shown his determination as a
cyclist, but also in his efforts to battle cancer. A cancer survivor, Armstrong
founded the Livestrong organization, an organization that champions cancer awareness and support for survivors. His aim is “to guide people through
the cancer experience, bring them together to fight cancer—and work for
a world in which our fight is no longer necessary” (Livestrong, 2011).
Integrity is another of the important leadership traits. Integrity is the
quality of honesty and trustworthiness. People who adhere to a strong set
of principles and take responsibility for their actions are exhibiting integrity. Leaders with integrity inspire confidence in others because they can
be trusted to do what they say they are going to do. They are loyal, dependable, and not deceptive. Basically, integrity makes a leader believable and
worthy of our trust.
In our society, integrity has received a great deal of attention in recent
years. For example, as a result of two situations—the position taken by
President George W. Bush regarding Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and the impeachment proceedings during the Clinton presidency—
people are demanding more honesty of their public officials. Similarly,
scandals in the corporate world (e.g., Enron and WorldCom), have led
people to become skeptical of leaders who are not highly ethical. In the
educational arena, new K–12 curricula are being developed to teach character, values, and ethical leadership. (For instance, see the Character
Counts! program developed by the Josephson Institute of Ethics in California at, and the Pillars of Leadership program taught at the J. W. Fanning Institute for Leadership in Georgia at In short, society is demanding greater integrity of character in its leaders.
2.4 Leadership in Nursing
A final trait that is important for leaders is sociability. Sociability is a
leader’s inclination to seek out pleasant social relationships. Leaders who
show sociability are friendly, outgoing, courteous, tactful, and diplomatic.
They are sensitive to others’ needs and show concern for their well-being.
Social leaders have good interpersonal skills and create cooperative relationships with their followers.
An example of a leader with great sociability skills is Michael Hughes, a
university president. Hughes prefers to walk to all his meetings because it gets
him out on campus where he greets students, staff, and faculty. He has lunch
in the dorm cafeterias or student union and will often ask a table of strangers
if he can sit with them. Students rate him as very approachable, while faculty
say he has an open-door policy. In addition, he takes time to write personal
notes to faculty, staff, and students to congratulate them on their successes.
Although our discussion of leadership traits has focused on five major
traits (i.e., intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability), this list is not all-inclusive. While other traits indicated in Table 2.1
are associated with effective leadership, the five traits we have identified
contribute substantially to one’s capacity to be a leader.
Until recently, most reviews of leadership traits have been qualitative.
In addition, they have lacked a common organizing framework. However,
the research described in the following section provides a quantitative
assessment of leadership traits that is conceptually framed around the fivefactor model of personality. It describes how five major personality traits
are related to leadership.
Five-Factor Personality Model and Leadership
Over the past 25 years, a consensus has emerged among researchers
regarding the basic factors that make up what we call personality (Goldberg, 1990; McCrae & Costa, 1987). These factors, commonly called the
Big Five, are neuroticism, extraversion (surgency), openness (intellect),
agreeableness, and conscientiousness (dependability). (See Table 2.3.)
To assess the links between the Big Five and leadership, Judge, Bono,
Ilies, and Gerhardt (2002) conducted a major meta-analysis of 78 leadership and personality studies published between 1967 and 1998. In general,
2.2 Impression Management
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 27
Table 2.3 Big Five Personality Factors
The tendency to be depressed, anxious, insecure,
vulnerable, and hostile
The tendency to be sociable and assertive and to have
positive energy
The tendency to be informed, creative, insightful,
and curious
The tendency to be accepting, conforming, trusting,
and nurturing
The tendency to be thorough, organized, controlled,
dependable, and decisive
SOURCE: Goldberg, L. R. (1990). An alternative “description of personality”: The big-five
factor structure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1216–1229.
Judge et al. found a strong relationship between the Big Five traits and
leadership. It appears that having certain personality traits is associated
with being an effective leader.
Specifically, in their study, extraversion was the factor most strongly
associated with leadership. It is the most important trait of effective leaders.
Extraversion was followed, in order, by conscientiousness, openness, and
low neuroticism. The last factor, agreeableness, was found to be only weakly
associated with leadership.
Emotional Intelligence
Another way of assessing the impact of traits on leadership is through the
concept of emotional intelligence, which emerged in the 1990s as an important area of study in psychology. It has been widely studied by researchers,
and has captured the attention of many practitioners (Caruso & Wolfe, 2004;
Goleman, 1995, 1998; Mayer & Salovey, 1995, 1997; Mayer, Salovey, &
Caruso, 2000; Shankman & Allen, 2008).
As the two words suggest, emotional intelligence has to do with our
emotions (affective domain) and thinking (cognitive domain), and the
interplay between the two. Whereas intelligence is concerned with our
ability to learn information and apply it to life tasks, emotional intelligence
is concerned with our ability to understand emotions and apply this understanding to life’s tasks. Specifically, emotional intelligence can be defined
as the ability to perceive and express emotions, to use emotions to facilitate
thinking, to understand and reason with emotions, and to effectively
2.3 Emotional and Other Intelligences
2.5 Effective and Ineffective Leaders
manage emotions within oneself and in relationships with others (Mayer,
Salovey, & Caruso, 2000).
There are different ways to measure emotional intelligence. One scale
is the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT;
Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 2000). The MSCEIT measures emotional
intelligence as a set of mental abilities, including the abilities to perceive,
facilitate, understand, and manage emotion.
Goleman (1995, 1998) takes a broader approach to emotional intelligence, suggesting that it consists of a set of personal and social competencies. Personal competence consists of self-awareness, confidence,
self-regulation, conscientiousness, and motivation. Social competence
consists of empathy and social skills such as communication and conflict
Shankman and Allen (2008) developed a practice-oriented model of
emotionally intelligent leadership, which suggests that leaders must be
conscious of three fundamental facets of leadership: context, self, and others. In the model, emotionally intelligent leaders are defined by 21
capacities to which a leader should pay attention, including group savvy,
optimism, initiative, and teamwork.
There is a debate in the field regarding how big a role emotional intelligence plays in helping people be successful in life. Some researchers,
such as Goleman (1995), suggested that emotional intelligence plays a
major role in whether people are successful at school, home, and work.
Others, such as Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2000), made softer claims for
the significance of emotional intelligence in meeting life’s challenges.
As a leadership ability or trait, emotional intelligence appears to be an
important construct. The underlying premise suggested by this framework
is that people who are more sensitive to their emotions and the impact of
their emotions on others will be leaders who are more effective. As more
research is conducted on emotional intelligence, the intricacies of how
emotional intelligence relates to leadership will be better understood.
The trait approach is very different from the other approaches discussed in
subsequent chapters because it focuses exclusively on the leader, not on
2.3 Emotional Intelligence
2.3 Emotional Intelligence
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 29
the followers or the situation. This makes the trait approach theoretically
more straightforward than other approaches. In essence, the trait approach
is concerned with what traits leaders exhibit and who has these traits.
The trait approach does not lay out a set of hypotheses or principles
about what kind of leader is needed in a certain situation or what a leader
should do, given a particular set of circumstances. Instead, this approach
emphasizes that having a leader with a certain set of traits is crucial to having effective leadership. It is the leader and the leader’s personality that are
central to the leadership process.
The trait approach suggests that organizations will work better if the
people in managerial positions have designated leadership profiles. To find
the right people, it is common for organizations to use personality assessment
instruments. The assumption behind these procedures is that selecting the
right people will increase organizational effectiveness. Organizations can
specify the characteristics or traits that are important to them for particular
positions and then use personality assessment measures to determine
whether an individual fits their needs.
The trait approach is also used for personal awareness and development.
By analyzing their own traits, managers can gain an idea of their strengths
and weaknesses, and can get a feel for how others in the organization see
them. A trait assessment can help managers determine whether they have
the qualities to move up or to move to other positions in the company.
A trait assessment gives individuals a clearer picture of who they are as
leaders and how they fit into the organizational hierarchy. In areas where
their traits are lacking, leaders can try to make changes in what they do or
where they work to increase their traits’ potential impact.
Near the end of the chapter, a leadership instrument is provided that
you can use to assess your leadership traits. This instrument is typical of the
kind of personality tests that companies use to assess individuals’ leadership
potential. As you will discover by completing this instrument, trait measures are a good way to assess your own characteristics.
The trait approach has several identifiable strengths. First, the trait
approach is intuitively appealing. It fits clearly with our notion that leaders
are the individuals who are out front and leading the way in our society.
The image in the popular press and community at large is that leaders are
a special kind of people—people with gifts who can do extraordinary
things. The trait approach is consistent with this perception because it is
built on the premise that leaders are different, and their difference resides
in the special traits they possess. People have a need to see their leaders as
gifted people, and the trait approach fulfills this need.
A second strength of the trait approach is that it has a century of
research to back it up. No other theory can boast of the breadth and depth
of studies conducted on the trait approach. The strength and longevity of
this line of research give the trait approach a measure of credibility that
other approaches lack. Out of this abundance of research has emerged a
body of data that points to the important role of various personality traits
in the leadership process.
Another strength, more conceptual in nature, results from the way the
trait approach highlights the leader component in the leadership process.
Leadership is composed of leaders, followers, and situations, but the trait
approach is devoted to only the first of these—leaders. Although this is also
a potential weakness, by focusing exclusively on the role of the leader in
leadership the trait approach has been able to provide us with a deeper and
more intricate understanding of how the leader and the leader’s personality are related to the leadership process.
Last, the trait approach has given us some benchmarks for what we
need to look for if we want to be leaders. It identifies what traits we should
have and whether the traits we do have are the best traits for leadership.
Based on the findings of this approach, personality and assessment procedures can be used to offer invaluable information to supervisors and managers about their strengths and weaknesses and ways to improve their
overall leadership effectiveness.
In addition to its strengths, the trait approach has several weaknesses. First
and foremost is the failure of the trait approach to delimit a definitive list
of leadership traits. Although an enormous number of studies have been
conducted over the past 100 years, the findings from these studies have
been ambiguous and uncertain at times. Furthermore, the list of traits that
2.4 Political Leadership
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 31
has emerged appears endless. This is obvious from Table 2.1, which lists a
multitude of traits. In fact, these are only a sample of the many leadership
traits that were studied.
Another criticism is that the trait approach has failed to take situations
into account. As Stogdill (1948) pointed out more than 50 years ago, it is
difficult to isolate a set of traits that are characteristic of leaders without
also factoring situational effects into the equation. People who possess
certain traits that make them leaders in one situation may not be leaders
in another situation. Some people may have the traits that help them
emerge as leaders but not the traits that allow them to maintain their leadership over time. In other words, the situation influences leadership. It is
therefore difficult to identify a universal set of leadership traits in isolation
from the context in which the leadership occurs.
A third criticism, derived from the prior two criticisms, is that this
approach has resulted in highly subjective determinations of the most
important leadership traits. Because the findings on traits have been so
extensive and broad, there has been much subjective interpretation of the
meaning of the data. This subjectivity is readily apparent in the many selfhelp, practice-oriented management books. For example, one author
might identify ambition and creativity as crucial leadership traits; another
might identify empathy and calmness. In both cases, it is the author’s subjective experience and observations that are the basis for the identified
leadership traits. These books may be helpful to readers because they
identify and describe important leadership traits, but the methods used to
generate these lists of traits are weak. To respond to people’s need for a set
of definitive traits of leaders, authors have set forth lists of traits, even if the
origins of these lists are not grounded in strong, reliable research.
Research on traits can also be criticized for failing to look at traits in
relationship to leadership outcomes. This research has emphasized the
identification of traits, but has not addressed how leadership traits affect
group members and their work. In trying to ascertain universal leadership
traits, researchers have focused on the link between specific traits and
leader emergence, but they have not tried to link leader traits with other
outcomes such as productivity or employee satisfaction. For example, trait
research does not provide data on whether leaders who might have high
intelligence and strong integrity have better results than leaders without
these traits. The trait approach is weak in describing how leaders’ traits
affect the outcomes of groups and teams in organizational settings.
A final criticism of the trait approach is that it is not a useful approach
for training and development for leadership. Even if definitive traits could
be identified, teaching new traits is not an easy process because traits are
not easily changed. For example, it is not reasonable to send managers to
a training program to raise their IQ or to train them to become extroverted.
The point is that traits are largely fixed psychological structures, and this
limits the value of teaching and leadership training.
Despite its shortcomings, the trait approach provides valuable information
about leadership. It can be applied by individuals at all levels and in all
types of organizations. Although the trait approach does not provide a
definitive set of traits, it does provide direction regarding which traits are
good to have if one aspires to a leadership position. By taking personality
tests and other similar questionnaires, people can gain insight into whether
they have certain traits deemed important for leadership, and they can
pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses with regard to leadership.
As we discussed previously, managers can use information from the
trait approach to assess where they stand in their organization and what
they need to do to strengthen their position. Trait information can suggest
areas in which their personal characteristics are very beneficial to the
company and areas in which they may want to get more training to
enhance their overall approach. Using trait information, managers can
develop a deeper understanding of who they are and how they will affect
others in the organization.
In this section, three case studies (Cases 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3) are provided to
illustrate the trait approach and to help you understand how the trait
approach can be used in making decisions in organizational settings. The
settings of the cases are diverse—directing a research department, running
an office supply business, and being head of recruitment for a large bank—
but all of the cases deal with trait leadership. At the end of each case, you
will find questions that will help in analyzing the cases.
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 33
C A SE 2.1
Choosing a New Director of Research
Sandra Coke is vice president for research and development at Great Lakes
Foods (GLF), a large snack food company that has approximately 1,000
employees. As a result of a recent reorganization, Sandra must choose the
new director of research. The director will report directly to Sandra and
will be responsible for developing and testing new products. The research
division of GLF employs about 200 people. The choice of directors is
important because Sandra is receiving pressure from the president and
board of GLF to improve the company’s overall growth and productivity.
Sandra has identified three candidates for the position. Each candidate
is at the same managerial level. She is having difficulty choosing one of
them because each has very strong credentials. Alexa Smith is a longtime
employee of GLF who started part-time in the mailroom while in high
school. After finishing school, Alexa worked in as many as 10 different positions throughout the company to become manager of new product marketing. Performance reviews of Alexa’s work have repeatedly described
her as being very creative and insightful. In her tenure at GLF, Alexa has
developed and brought to market four new product lines. Alexa is also
known throughout GLF as being very persistent about her work: When
she starts a project, she stays with it until it is finished. It is probably this
quality that accounts for the success of each of the four new products
with which she has been involved.
A second candidate for the new position is Kelsey Metts, who has been
with GLF for 5 years and is manager of quality control for established
products. Kelsey has a reputation of being very bright. Before joining GLF,
she received her MBA at Harvard, graduating at the top of her class. People
talk about Kelsey as the kind of person who will be president of her own
company someday. Kelsey is also very personable. On all her performance
reviews, she received extra-high scores on sociability and human relations.
There isn’t a supervisor in the company who doesn’t have positive things
to say about how comfortable it is to work with Kelsey. Since joining GLF,
Kelsey has been instrumental in bringing two new product lines to market.
Thomas Santiago, the third candidate, has been with GLF for 10 years and
is often consulted by upper management regarding strategic planning and
corporate direction setting. Thomas has been very involved in establishing
the vision for GLF and is a company person all the way. He believes in the
values of GLF, and actively promotes its mission.The two qualities that stand
out above the rest in Thomas’s performance reviews are his honesty and
integrity. Employees who have worked under his supervision consistently
report that they feel they can trust Thomas to be fair and consistent.Thomas
is highly respected at GLF. In his tenure at the company, Thomas has been
involved in some capacity with the development of three new product lines.
The challenge confronting Sandra is to choose the best person for the
newly established director’s position. Because of the pressure she feels
from upper management, Sandra knows she must select the best leader
for the new position.
1. Based on the information provided about the trait approach in Tables 2.1
and 2.2, if you were Sandra, who would you select?
2. In what ways is the trait approach helpful in this type of selection?
3. In what ways are the weaknesses of the trait approach highlighted in
this case?
C A SE 2.2
A Remarkable Turnaround
Carol Baines was married for 20 years to the owner of the Baines
Company until he died in a car accident. After his death, Carol decided
not to sell the business but to try to run it herself. Before the accident,
her only involvement in the business was in informal discussions with her
husband over dinner, although she has a college degree in business, with
a major in management.
Baines Company was one of three office supply stores in a city with a
population of 200,000 people. The other two stores were owned by
national chains. Baines was not a large company, and employed only five
people. Baines had stable sales of about $200,000 a year, serving mostly
the smaller companies in the city. The firm had not grown in a number of
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 35
years and was beginning to feel the pressure of the advertising and lower
prices of the national chains.
For the first 6 months, Carol spent her time familiarizing herself with
the employees and the operations of the company. Next, she did a citywide analysis of companies that had reason to purchase office supplies.
Based on her understanding of the company’s capabilities and her assessment of the potential market for their products and services, Carol developed a specific set of short-term and long-term goals for the company.
Behind all of her planning, Carol had a vision that Baines could be a viable,
healthy, and competitive company. She wanted to carry on the business
that her husband had started, but more than that she wanted it to grow.
Over the first 5 years, Carol invested significant amounts of money in
advertising, sales, and services. These efforts were well spent because the
company began to show rapid growth immediately. Because of the
growth, the company hired another 20 people.
The expansion at Baines was particularly remarkable because of
another major hardship Carol had to confront. Carol was diagnosed with
breast cancer a year after her husband died.The treatment for her cancer
included 2 months of radiation therapy and 6 months of strong chemotherapy. Although the side effects included hair loss and fatigue, Carol
continued to manage the company throughout the ordeal. Despite her
difficulties, Carol was successful. Under the strength of her leadership, the
growth at Baines continued for 10 consecutive years.
Interviews with new and old employees at Baines revealed much about
Carol’s leadership. Employees said that Carol was a very solid person. She
cared deeply about others and was fair and considerate. They said she created a family-like atmosphere at Baines. Few employees had quit Baines
since Carol took over. Carol was devoted to all the employees, and she
supported their interests. For example, the company sponsored a softball
team in the summer and a basketball team in the winter. Others described
Carol as a strong person. Even though she had cancer, she continued to be
positive and interested in them. She did not get depressed about the cancer
and its side effects, even though coping with cancer was difficult. Employees
said she was a model of strength, goodness, and quality.
At age 55, Carol turned the business over to her two sons. She continues to act as the president but does not supervise the day-to-day
operations. The company is doing more than $3.1 million in sales, and it
outpaces the other two chain stores in the city.
1. How would you describe Carol’s leadership traits?
2. How big a part did Carol’s traits play in the expansion of the company?
3. Would Carol be a leader in other business contexts?
C A SE 2.3
Recruiting for the Bank
Pat Nelson is the assistant director of human resources in charge of
recruitment for Central Bank, a large, full-service banking institution. One
of Pat’s major responsibilities each spring is to visit as many college campuses as he can to interview graduating seniors for credit analyst positions in the commercial lending area at Central Bank. Although the
number varies, he usually ends up hiring about 20 new people, most of
whom come from the same schools, year after year.
Pat has been doing recruitment for the bank for more than 10 years,
and he enjoys it very much. However, for the upcoming spring he is feeling increased pressure from management to be particularly discriminating
about whom he recommends hiring. Management is concerned about the
retention rate at the bank because in recent years as many as 25% of the
new hires have left. Departures after the first year have meant lost training dollars and strain on the staff who remain. Although management
understands that some new hires always leave, the executives are not
comfortable with the present rate, and they have begun to question the
recruitment and hiring procedures.
The bank wants to hire people who can be groomed for higher-level
leadership positions. Although certain competencies are required of
entry-level credit analysts, the bank is equally interested in skills that will
allow individuals to advance to upper management positions as their
careers progress.
In the recruitment process, Pat always looks for several characteristics. First, applicants need to have strong interpersonal skills, they need
to be confident, and they need to show poise and initiative. Next,
because banking involves fiduciary responsibilities, applicants need to
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 37
have proper ethics, including a strong sense of the importance of confidentiality. In addition, to do the work in the bank, they need to have
strong analytical and technical skills, and experience in working with
computers. Last, applicants need to exhibit a good work ethic, and they
need to show commitment and a willingness to do their job even in difficult circumstances.
Pat is fairly certain that he has been selecting the right people to be
leaders at Central Bank, yet upper management is telling him to reassess
his hiring criteria. Although he feels that he has been doing the right thing,
he is starting to question himself and his recruitment practices.
1. Based on ideas described in the trait approach, do you think Pat is
looking for the right characteristics in the people he hires?
2. Could it be that the retention problem raised by upper management
is unrelated to Pat’s recruitment criteria?
3. If you wer…
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