Employing an Implicit Task to Measure the Effects of Contextual Constraints on Perceptions of Leadership
Boyd, Kathleen Benton-Snead
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A laboratory experiment was conducted to test the effects of follower behaviors (passive or active) and affect (positive or negative) on leadership perception within the context of an implicit association task (IAT). Individuals watched either a positive or negative affect inducing video, were placed in a leader role, and were asked to read a brief scenario detailing the behavior of their followers. The results indicated that: 1) active follower behavior information activated leadership perceptions that reflect an implicit preference for Visionary Leadership, and 2) positive affect activated leadership perceptions that reflect an implicit preference for Visionary Leadership. It was hypothesized that there would be an interaction between follower behavior and leader affect such that negative affect would lead to more detailed follower behavior information processing and therefore follower behavior would have stronger effects on leadership perceptions. The interaction was not significant; however the main effects provide support for the Connectionist Model of Leadership, such that contextual constraints do influence perceptions of leadership. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.
- Doctoral Dissertations