Personality And Leadership: A Qualitative And Quantitative Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Leadership Type: Essay Paper: #79274723 Related Topics: Personality Traits, Personality Tests, Personality Test, Personality
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Personality and Leadership: A Qualitative and Quantitative Review," Judge, Bono, Ilies & Gerhardt (2002) focus on the trait theory of leadership. In "Applying a Psychobiological Model of Personality to the Study of Leadership," O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study the relationship between personality and emergent leadership. In "When the Romance is Over: Follower Perspectives of Aversive Leadership," Bligh, et al. (2007) explore what the researchers call the "dark side" of leadership. Whereas the Judge et al. (2002) and O'Connor & Jackson (2010) research centers on personality traits and leadership in a straightforward way, focusing on the leader, Bligh et al. (2007) instead take into account follower perspectives on aversive leadership. Although Judge, et al. (2002) and O'Connor & Jackson (2010) are interested in trait theory, O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study alternatives to the Big Five model as well as the Big Five model itself; Judge, et al. (2002) are primarily concerned with the Big Five traits. All of the authors build a strong case, but Bligh et al. (2007) offer a more unique point-of-view on leadership by stressing the perspectives of followers rather than examining leadership from the leader's perspective. Thus, Bligh et al. (2007) are interested in the effects of leadership, but the other two studies focus more on the causal variables. Judge, et al. (2002) describes the purpose of the study as to offer an overview of literature on trait theory. Judge et al. (2002) describe the purpose of their research as providing insight into what traits cause people to become leaders in the first place. The purpose of the Bligh et al. (2007) study is to elucidate the negative consequences of romanticizing leaders and leadership. These three research studies are similar in that they all help to explain and refine understanding leadership, and they each take a different perspective on the topic.

Research Questions

Each of these three studies has different research questions and hypotheses. In their research, Judge, et al. (2002) question whether the inconsistency in prior research on leadership is due to the lack of structure in the taxonomy or classification of leadership traits. Judge et al. (2002) question whether the Five Factor Model can explain leadership traits as well as overall job performance. The Judge et al. (2002) study examines the Big Five traits with relation to neuroticism, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, and overall relationships. The researchers test for dominance and sociability, achievement-orientation and dependability, and self-esteem and locus of control.

Like Judge, et al. (2002), O'Connor & Jackson (2010) explore several research questions in their study. The first research question in the O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study is whether people are naturally born leaders. The second is whether leaders emerge in specific situations, or whether born leaders emerge as leaders regardless of the situation. O'Connor & Jackson (2010) also examine whether the Five Factor Model applies to emerging leaders, and whether it is temperament or character that makes the leader. The researchers also hypothesize that Harm Avoidance will be negatively linked to emergent leadership, whereas Cooperativeness will be positively linked to emergent leadership. The research questions in the O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study are different from the Judge et al. (2002) study in that they focus on emerging leaders in an experimental design rather than on existing leaders studied through meta-analysis.

In the Bligh et al. (2007) study, the researchers question the impact of aversive leadership on follower affective, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. The research questions in this study are completely different from the Judge, et al. (2002) or the O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study because their emphasis here is on the effects of leadership on followers. Bligh et al. (2007) also explore whether romanticizing leaders causes followers to blame leaders for negative situations even when the evidence proves otherwise.

Sample Populations

In their research, Judge, et al. (2002) used the PsychINFO database to cull studies by entering the keywords personality, leadership, and also each of the Big Five personality traits in conjunction with the term leadership. A total of 998 studies were compiled after this initial stage in the sampling. The researchers...

...

Next, the researchers used PsychINFO to study a collection of traits including self-esteem, modesty, and locus of control. This research yielded 1447 abstracts, some of which were the same studies from the initial 998. The researchers eliminated several types of studies to increase the validity and consistency of their research. Unlike either the Bligh et al. (2007) or the O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study, Judge, et al. (2002) do not conduct an experiment and therefore the population is a collection of literature and not actual human subjects.

O'Connor & Jackson (2010) sampled 81 female leaders, who were part time students in tertiary education in Australia. The leaders were from one gender in order to eliminate gender-related interfering variables. The majority (87%) of the participants were between 17 and 22 years of age.

In the Bligh, et al. (2007) study, the researchers directly mailed 491 questionnaires to high school principals. The questionnaires asked the principals to rate their lead teachers and departmental heads on follower performance, citizenship behavior, and complaining behaviors. Of the 491, 223 responded. Questionnaires were also sent to the lead teachers, of which 342 participated.

Results

Judge, et al. (2002) found that extraversion was the Big Five trait most strongly correlated with leadership, followed by Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience. This was true even when the researchers controlled for the type of leadership scenario (business studies, government and military studies, and students). However, Agreeableness had a weak correlation with leadership. Four other, non-Big Five traits had a strong correlation with leadership, including sociability, dominance, achievement, and dependability. Locus of control and self-esteem had lower correlations with leadership than Neuroticism. All traits were relevant to student leadership scenarios but not necessarily to government and business.

Similar to Judge, et al. (2002), O'Connor & Jackson (2010) found that the relationship between personality and leadership depended somewhat on the nature of the situation. The researchers found that there are some stable characteristics shared in common by leaders, regardless of their locus of work. Personality was a stronger factor determining emergence of leadership than situational variables. The researchers also suggest that serotonin offers a biological basis for explaining trait-based leadership models, even though they did not specifically study for the variable of serotonin. The research might imply that serotonin is linked with Harm Avoidance and low Extraversion. Finally, O'Connor & Jackson (2010) found that Cooperativeness predicts emergent leadership.

Bligh, et al. (2007) found a negative correlation between aversive leadership and follower job satisfaction, as predicted. Perceptions of aversive leadership were positively linked also to follower self-ratings of behavioral resistance. Teacher performance was negatively correlated with principal aversive leadership behaviors, whereas follower ratings of principals were linked with complaining behaviors. These results are completely different from the results in the other two studies.

Conclusion

Although each of these studies is strong, each also has some limitations. The Judge, et al. (2002) research is a meta-analysis and not an experimental research design. Therefore, it is impossible to know how personality traits are being measured because each study will have used different sampling and procedures. The limitations of the O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study are different because it was an experimental design rather than a metaanalysis of literature. However, the O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study suffers from a similar limitation in that there are many different variables being measured, and those variables are personality traits that are subjective in nature. Moreover, the O'Connor & Jackson (2010) study claims to be about psychobiology but is not because it has nothing to do with measuring biological variables. The limitations of the Bligh, et al. (2007) research include single source bias and a limited sample. Limitations can only encompass much of what the researchers set out to accomplish; they each explain the limitations on their studies and discuss how future research might build on it. Each researcher also defends their work and its limitations.

All three of the studies do what their researchers set out to accomplish, and explain the results of the research well. The conclusions of the three studies are completely different because their premises and methods were different. For instance, Judge, et al. (2002) found that there is some evidence to suggest that Big Five traits, and especially extraversion, are linked to leadership. This was based on a review of literature. O'Connor & Jackson (2010) found that emerging young leaders exhibit a core set of personality traits, and that their leadership skills or behaviors emerge regardless of situational variables. Bligh et al. (2007) set out to study the link between aversive leadership and follower perceptions and behaviors, and the results of their research also corroborate their intentions.

Based on these three studies, I conclude that leadership is a complex area of research warranting as much attention as possible. The implications for these three studies, and similar studies like that of Ou…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Bligh, M.C., et al. (2007). When the romance is over. Applied Psychology: An International Review 56(4): 528-557.

Bobbio, A., Dierendonck, D.V. & Manganelli, A.M. (2012). Servant leadership in Italy and its relation to organizational variables. Leadership 8(3): 229-243.

Judge, T.A., Bono, J.E., Ilies, R. & Gerhardt, M.W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology 87(4): 765-780.

McClelland, D.C. & Burnham, DH (2003). Power is the great motivator. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved online: https://hbr.org/2003/01/power-is-the-great-motivator


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