A new approach to the study of emergent leadership: the application of personality patterns based on general self-efficacy, intelligence, and dominance

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Virginia Tech

Past research on the emergence of leaders in groups has typically examined relationships between individual trait variables and emergence. The current study extends work of the past by pioneering a multi-variable pattern approach, along with the traditional examination of individual trait measures, in the domain of emergent leadership. The personality pattern examined in this study includes the variables dominance, intelligence and general self-efficacy.

All three trait variables were significantly positively associated with leader emergence. Individuals high in all three traits (HHH) emerged significantly more frequently than all other individuals while those low in all three traits (LLL) emerged significantly less frequently than all other individuals. The study also examined non-leader group members and their perceptions of the emergent leaders; resulting in descriptions of leaders that were highly consistent with the traits of interest. Implications for the future research of emergent leadership are discussed.

categorization, group processes, implicit leadership theories, traits