Toward a theory of individual differences and leadership: Understanding the motivation to lead

Kim Yin Chan, Fritz Drasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A broad, integrative theoretical framework for understanding the relationship between individual differences and various leader behaviors is presented; it proposes a new individual-differences construct called the motivation to lead (MTL). A large-scale study using 3 samples in different occupational and cultural contexts shows 3 factors underlying MTL, namely, affective-identity, noncalculative, and social-normative MTL. A parsimonious model of antecedents to MTL is developed through hierarchical regression modeling and is cross-validated using confirmatory latent variable modeling. MTL is shown to provide incremental validity over other predictors such as general cognitive ability, values, personality, and attitudes in the prediction of 2 behavioral measures of leadership potential. Findings are discussed with reference to the theoretical framework proposed for understanding individual differences in leader behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-498
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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