Title

A Social Identity Framework for Examining Leadership Schema Congruence: A Multilevel Analysis

Date of Award

8-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Major Professor

David J. Woehr

Committee Members

Lowell Gaertner, Michael D. McIntyre, Michael Lane Morris, Michael Cavin Rush

Abstract

Recent leadership research has focused on the importance of implicit leadership theory (ILT) for organizational outcomes (e.g., Epitropaki & Martin, 2005; Hains, Hogg, & Duck, 1997). Specifically, when followers perceive their leader’s trait profile to be closer to the ILTs they endorse (i.e., leadership schema congruence), this results in a number of positive outcomes (e.g., Epitropaki & Martin, 2005; Hains et al., 1997; Martin & Epitropaki, 2001). Although recent leadership research has highlighted the need for multilevel examinations of leadership (Hall & Lord, 1995; Lord & Hall, 1992), no multilevel models of leadership schema congruence have been examined to date.

The social identity theory of leadership (SITL) offers potential insight into how a multilevel model of leadership schema congruence can be examined (Hains et al., 1997; Hogg, 2001b; Hogg et al., 2006). Using multilevel analysis, this study indicated that self-concept clarity, cohesion, and group identification were positively related to leadership schema congruence. Likewise, belongingness climate strength was positively related to leadership schema congruence agreement within teams, but climate strength did not have an affect on individual leadership schema congruence.

Results of this analysis failed to support the SITL, thereby raising questions about the central theoretical tenets of the SITL. Alternatively, the results of this study support the influence of self- and group-related perceptions at multiple levels when examining leadership emergence. The implications of this study relate to the motivational mechanisms inherent in leadership endorsement. Future research directions in emergent leadership, including an increased use of multilevel models, are outlined.

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