A Multistage Model of Leader Effectiveness: Uncovering the Relationships between Leader Traits and Leader Behaviors




LaPort, Kate Ashley

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The purpose of the current study was to respond to appeals in the literature for a better understanding of (1) the mechanisms through which leader attributes translate into leader effectiveness, (2) the relationships among the determinants themselves, (3) which types of traits (i.e., cognitive, social, personality, motivational) are important for predicting leader behaviors and leader effectiveness, and (4) how conceptualizing traits at the pattern level may add incrementally to existing variable-approach knowledge of determinants of leader effectiveness. Specifically, this study proposed and tested a multistage model of leader effectiveness in a sample of U.S. Army team leaders, squad leaders, and platoon sergeants who were rated on leadership behaviors and effectiveness by their subordinates. Findings indicate support for (1) the role of four types of traits (i.e., cognitive, personality, motivation, and social) in predicting leader behaviors and effectiveness and (2) a multistage model wherein distal leader traits influence the development of more proximal attributes such as social intelligence and motivation to lead, which in turn impact ratings of leader effectiveness through their manifestation on leader behaviors. Analyses examining these traits at the pattern level of analysis showed that while some patterns of leader traits could be used to predict leader behaviors and effectiveness, this information was not incremental to that provided by a linear combination of leader attributes. Implications are discussed for future research. .



Psychology, Leader effectiveness, Leadership, Leader traits, Multistage models