The Relationship Between Leadership and Personality

Andrew J. Marsiglia, PhD, CCP
People that have task-oriented personality types tend to have considerable focus on details. They are not comfortable initiating an action-plan until they are satisfied they have all the necessary facts. On the other hand, people who have relations-oriented personality types tend to have considerable focus on the result and are comfortable initiating an actionplan when they have just the essential facts. Therefore, it is important for a leader to understand personality and accurately adjust leadership style to the management situation. August 2008

| Relationship Between Leadership and Personality


The Relationship between leadership and Personality Andrew J. Marsiglia, PhD, CCP Introduction People who have task-oriented personality types tend to have considerable focus on details. They are not comfortable initiating an action-plan until they are satisfied they have all the necessary facts. On the other hand, people who have relations-oriented personality types tend to have considerable focus on the result and are comfortable initiating an action-plan when they have just the essential facts (Blake & Mouton, 1982). Therefore, it is important for a leader to understand personality and accurately adjust leadership style to the management situation. Bass (1990) states, Personality theorists tended to regard leadership as a one-way effect: Leaders possess qualities that differentiate them from followers. But these theorists did not acknowledge the extent to which leaders and followers have interactive effects by determining which qualities of followers are of consequence in a situation. (p. 12) Personality predicted leadership emergence across a variety of people and settings. Lord (1986) states, “In short, personality traits are associated with leadership emergence to a higher degree and more consistently than popular literature indicates” (p. 407). In addition, Barrick and Mount (1993) have found a significant association between personality and job performance. The combination of leadership style and personality type appears to meld into a psychological combination that produces the ethos of a leader. “Leaders are not just identified b y their leadership styles, but also by their personalities, their awareness of themselves and others, and their appreciation of diversity, flexibility, and paradox” (Handbury, 2001, p. 11). In addition, McGregor (1960) states, “It is quite unlikely that there is a single basic pattern of abilities and personality trait characteristics of all leaders. The personality characteristics of the leader are not unimportant, but those which are essential differ considerably depending on the circumstances” | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 1

(p. 180). Therefore, it may indeed, make a difference in ascertaining personality type in order to determine the correct job match between an employee and his or her colleagues. Historical Overview The ancient era of leadership theory, from about 2300 B.C. to 1A.D., was characterized by the idea of leaders being great men who were sources of authority and justice. Leaders were expected to behave in a manner imagined by their society and culture as appropriate for a particular role such as a king, chief, prince, or prophet. They were considered to be heroic, inspirational and endowed with special leadership power that enabled them to capture their follower’s imagination (Bass, 1990). So powerful was this effect that when Woods (1913) examined the evolution of leadership in 14 countries over a 14-century period, he concluded that the great-man leaders made their nation and shaped it in accordance with their abilities. The classical era of leadership range from 1 A.D. to 1869 and the neoclassical era range from 1870 to 1939 encompassing a substantial portion of the industrial era. During the Industrial era, organization theories were based on social, demographic, and economic issues that related to a relatively stable command-and-control, production-oriented environment. These theories provided a foundation for establishing procedures for managing personnel and equipment as well as creation of formal organization structures to insure production stability. This produced an environment characterized by large organizations that were regionally located and predominantly employed local male workers. These workers composed a homogeneous group that typically had little or no formal education, conducted their life activities within a few miles of their work site, and had personal familiarity with most of their colleagues (Hatch, 1997; Jacques, 1996; Shafritz & Ott, 2001). However, as organizations developed interests outside of their regional areas, especially interests in foreign countries, demographic homogeneity gave way to diversity of

| Relationship Between Leadership and Personality


all of which has increased the feeling of uncertainty (Handy. In the post-Civil War period of 1869 to the World War II period beginning in 1940. 1996). the compliance-induction theory appears most prevalent during this period because its authoritarian. the Unites States significantly increased its influence as a world political power and manufacturing producer (Hummel. however. In addition. directive approach enabled leaders to accomplish the most work with the least friction and greatest cooperation .personnel that included different ethnic. The southern states. and compliance-induction. differentiated roles. The industrial era of organization theory is characterized by its focus on stability. increased globalization and cultural diversity led to greater information generation and dissemination. The positive consequence. heterogeneous demographics and greater knowledge of non-local affairs. Jacques. 1990). The result has been an increasingly open environment. however. and formal structure and appears to have spawned leadership theories where leadership was a product of the emerging effect of leader and follower interaction. racial. 1996. 1996). authoritarian management. In fact. is that after southern industry was rebuilt it became a major contributor to the country’s modern industrial resource (Hummel. 1996). The American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 had a profound effect on American industry and government by virtue of the fact that war production in the northern states stimulated manufacturing activity to high production levels. Through the end of the nineteenth century up to mid-twentieth century leadership theorists appeared to | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 3 . suffered considerable damage to manufacturing infrastructure and civil government. This environment appears to have created a new leadership focus that included greater reliance on trait theory where ideal leaders were considered to have the greatest number of personality traits and attributes (Bass. and gender groups.

Goal Emphasis: Behavior that stimulates an enthusiasm for meeting the group’s goal or achieving excellent performance. 253). who posited that a leader as a person who moved followers toward a mutual objective.focus less on compliance-induction theory and more on the concept of leadership as a product of group processes and as a form of persuasion where there is a reciprocal relationship between leaders and followers. Interaction Facilitation: Behavior that encourages members of the group to develop close. “Leadership includes influencing task objectives and strategies. This approach is espoused by Cowley (1928). and influencing the culture of an organization” (p. or situational environment. power-influence. In an effort to develop a comprehensive definition of leadership. Support: Behavior that enhances someone else’s feeling of personal worth and importance. In addition. Bowers and Seashore formulated four basic dimensions of leadership: 1. mutually satisfying relationships. Hogan (1994) defines leadership. There appears to be no single universal definition of leadership but rather definitions relate to various leadership perspectives such as personal traits. 494). behavioral aspects. | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 4 . Tead (1935) states that a leader should influence people to cooperate to attain a desired common goal. Yukl (1989) posits. “Leadership involves persuading other people to set aside for a period of time their individual concerns and to pursue a common goal that is important for the responsibilities and welfare of a group” (p. 2. influencing commitment and compliance in task behavior to achieve these objectives. 3. influencing group maintenance and identification.

” During the 1980’s theorists began to recognize the importance of personal and national cultural influence on leadership paradigms. Leadership is frequently defined in terms of transactional and transformational dimensions. 1995. the theories must incorporate cultural variations and will be combined with oriental management theories thereby producing management techniques that have near-universal applicability (Hofstede. team-dynamics. provides useful information for leadership development purposes and may help in closing the gap between actual and desired performance” (Kolb. occidental management theories and techniques in some form will be adapted to countries around the world. Consequently. “Transformational leadership tends to be more effective and satisfying than contingent rewarding. Current Findings Leader Effectiveness Leader effectiveness is dependent on the leadership problem-situation. In order to be effective. In terms of universality. Work Facilitation: Behavior that helps achieves goal attainment through activities such as scheduling. p. The paradigm of transactional-transformational leadership has universal applicability across all continents and cultures. p. materials. along with self-assessment. Bass (1990. In the global economy of the 21st century. and strategy. “Feedback from subordinates should be part of an organization’s leadership performance assessment program. and technical knowledge. contingent rewarding is more effective and satisfying than managing by exception. the leader must employ a multiple level of | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 5 . and managing by exception is more effective and satisfying than laissez-faire leadership. and providing resources such as tools. however. organization culture. Such feedback. 244). 137) declares. 1984). planning.4.

other members take over more of the leadership functions while designated leaders retain their boundary spanning responsibilities” (p. Self-ratings 5. Actual performance of the organization unit or team 2. | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 6 . In addition. 2001. 477). 497) submits that there are five categories that may be used to evaluate leader effectiveness: 1. p. the team members become gain job-skill maturity. 2000). subordinates. the subordinate requires less direct leader intervention (Hamilton & Schriesheim. In addition. When a leader uses a partnership approach with his or her team.leadership skills in order to be effective (Yammarino. leadership assumes functional characteristics. Zaccaro (2001) states. “We have also suggested that as teams become more experienced and achieve a significant level of expertise. Team dynamics and processes generally provide rapid and measurable results for determining leader effectiveness. Team processes have a reciprocal relationship in which leadership processes and team processes influence each other as team members become more experienced in their job related skills or in other words. 2001). Hogan (1994. simulations. Ratings by peers. and superiors 3. and the ancillary organizations supporting the work group. Higgs & Roland. Leadership functions should be functionally equivalent to those of the work group. or assessment centers 4. Perceptions of people whose careers are in jeopardy. The leader-follower relationship is reciprocal because as the leader influences the subordinate to become more effective and as this effectiveness increases. Results of interviews. leader effectiveness may be increased when the leader takes a relationship or partnership approach. A functional perspective of leadership focuses on the essential functions of a work group.

. solution formulating skills. they require less direct leader intervention (Behling & Rauch. are critical to a leader’s success.functional leadership recognizes the skill maturity of the work group. 167). Leaders often directly apply their problem solving skills. Transformational leadership is frequently considered to be most effective at higher levels within an organization’s hierarchy. employees performing new tasks require encouragement and support.” In a study for the U. A transformational leadership style. In some situations. p. . did not produce high motivation from workers who expected personal enrichment from their job-related activities. 77) declares. knowledge. and social judgment skills.S.” Hater and Bass (1988) conducted a study of highly educated workers and discovered that a transformational leadership approach. leadership may sometimes be a rather indirect phenomenon where influence is exercised through cognition and performance as well as through interpersonal interaction. As employees gain job maturity. such as personality and motivation. Connelly (2000. complex problem-solving skills. and social judgment to a leadership situation. 1985). At low levels of job maturity. generated high motivation and work effectiveness. Connelly (2000) determined criteria for leader effectiveness using both military and civilian subjects. “. states. “The Army study emphasizes the importance of creative thinking. Mumford (2000. Army. indirect leadership may increase effectiveness. however. Effective leaders will not rely solely on a transactional leadership style but will move between transformational and | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 7 . p. displaying various amounts of participative decision making. may be more effective at lower management levels. while the civilian study serves as a reminder that other leader attributes. Transaction leadership on the other hand. Effective leadership may be achieved by using more of an indirect approach.

Job Satisfaction Job satisfaction depends on a plethora of elements. Lowe & Galen. It appears that personality measures are efficacious in predicting effective leadership. simulation. leader traits and behavior influence leader success across a variety of situations. A multi-criteria measurement system has greater probability of predicting leader effectiveness. relationship between job characteristics and attitude. the best way to forecast leadership is to use a combination of cognitive ability. Personality typing using validated instruments such as the MyersBriggs Type Indicator may improve leader-subordinate communication and increase leader effectiveness (Witt. Warmth. Analysis of subordinate’s cultural. 1993. and multi-rater assessment instruments and techniques” (p. In research conducted by Day and Stogdill (1972) it was determined that that there was no appreciable gender difference in leader effectiveness. role play. 2000). 497). personality. Measuring only one or two elements such as leadership style. or least preferred co-worker may not produce a full explanation of the most effective leadership style to use in a particular situation. personality. and non-job related characteristics in order to produce a more comprehensive assessment of job | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 8 . Hartman (1999) found that personalities high in “Factor A.” were more effective in their leadership roles. career progress perceptions. 1996). It is difficult to predict leader effectiveness by using only single measurement criteria. Using the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire. Hogan (1994) states. “In our judgment. In addition.transactional styles as required by the situation and subordinate characteristics (Howell & Avolio. Male and female leaders in parallel leadership positions exhibited similar patterns of leader behavior and were regarded by their superiors as being similar in leader effectiveness.

the practical application of leadership concepts. This may provide a partial explanation of why the Managerial Grid and Situational Leadership II form the basis of popular commercial leadership training programs. and The One Minute Manager (Blanchard & Johnson.satisfaction (Chan & Drasgow. 494). 1983). non-leadership researchers immediately perceive or mentally understand. Popular books such as Theory X (Ouchi. Glick. In expressing concern that the benefits of the social scientific study of leadership are not being applied enough in practical situations. These programs appear to be intuitively appealing to non-academicians. & Gupta. In a study of the relationship of job satisfaction to job performance Petty (1984) proved there is a positive relationship to individual job satisfaction to individual job performance. That is. Arvey (1989) studied the genetic predispositions of a person gravitating toward staying in a particular type of job environment and the person’s concept of job satisfaction as measures by the Minnesota Job Satisfaction Questionnaire. 1984). Hogan (1994) states. Jenkins Jr. “…what we know about leadership seems to have little impact on the people who actually make decisions about leadership” (p. Scarpello & Campbell. Using monozygotic twins reared apart. it appears important for organizations to accurately | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 9 . Therefore.. It seems logical. therefore. 1986. to conclude that Blanchard’s (2001b) Situational Leadership II theory will be applicable to the study of leadership style and project manager job tenure. 2001. 1981). without intermediate explanation. 1985) suggest a direct relationship between job satisfaction and performance. Results of the study indicated that there are significant inherited traits that cause people to seek and remain in certain types of jobs. In Search of Excellence (Peters & Waterman.

In addition. Personality and Leadership Certain personality traits are positively related to leader effectiveness and team performance. 1994). extroversion. individuals characterize a leader similar to self as ideal” (Keller. such as agreeableness. Senior executives often select people for a leadership role solely based on the criteria of the candidate’s operational efficiency or experience. cultural background. conscientiousness. 1999). openness. Specifically. and personality. organizations develop a functional structure that enables it to successfully integrate with its external environment. Hollenbeck (2000) suggested that successful organizations employ people that have personality traits that enable the workers to fit well into both the organization’s internal and external environments. “Personality traits. Hogan (1994) states. Even though there are no universal personality traits that are predictors of leader effectiveness in all situations. conscientiousness.define the personal characteristics required for a person to be successful in a particular leadership role and to test candidates to insure they will be a proper fit for the job. The functional structure characteristics create unique internal environment conditions that require organization members of particular personality traits in order to attain organization efficiency. These personality traits include surgency. Hollenbeck (2000) developed an integrated theory of person-organization fit in which the structure of an organization is compared to the personality traits of the organization’s people.. the best way to forecast | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 10 . Typically. and self-monitoring influence implicit leadership theories. neuroticism. emotional stability. some situations and organization cultures require specific personality traits and leadership styles relative to the follower’s expectations of a leader (Hogan et al. “In our judgment. Sorcher (2002) suggests that the selection should be made on a broad range of soft leadership criteria including personal integrity. and agreeableness.

role play. simulation. p. “With respect to composition variables. and motivation orientation influence performance and achievement through achievement goal patterns. 1999). 377). personality and social cohesion contributed positively to team viability and team performance. the three personality characteristics of autonomy. p.S. agreeableness. A U. Connelly (2000. complex problemsolving skills. and social judgment skills. goal level. 2003. In addition. and emotional stability received higher supervisor ratings for team performance” (Barrick.” Military and civilian senior executives often select people for a leadership role solely based on the criteria of the candidate’s operational efficiency or experience. extroversion. “The Army study emphasizes the importance of creative thinking. 1998. conscientiousness. Proactive personality was positively associated with both self-reported objective successcriteria of salary and promotions as well as the subjective success-criteria of career satisfaction (Seibert. while the civilian study serves as a reminder that other leader attributes. personality. teams higher in general mental ability. Army study examined criteria for leader effectiveness using both military and civilian subjects and discovered the importance of personality and leadership. p. 77) declares. 256). In addition. 497). Sorcher (2002) suggests that the selection | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 11 . such as personality and motivation.leadership is to use a combination of cognitive ability. and multi-rater assessment instruments and techniques” (p. control. In a study of six hundred fifty-two employees composing 51 work teams it was determined that relationships of team member’s ability. are critical to a leader’s success. and mental focus. “Research suggests that global personality traits can help researchers to understand and predict the motivational strategies that people use while working toward goals in achievement settings” (Lee. personality measures are efficacious in predicting effective leadership.

“Overall. 2002). Results. 2000. Prior research has shown that personality characteristics can be accurately assessed using of the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (Witt. Larson et al.48 with leadership. In fact. the five-factor model had a multiple correlation of . Mount. 2001. summarized in Table 1. 1) declared.. 2000). Judge (2002. & Judge. indicating strong support for the leader trait perspective when traits are organized according to the five-factor model”. Young. Salgado (2003) reached a similar conclusion in a study of Western European firms. In particular. cultural background. | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 12 . 2001). 1990). conducted over the prior 50 years that focused on the relationship of FFM personality characteristics to prediction of job performance. conscientiousness and emotional stability were positively correlated to job performance in all jobs while the other FFM dimensions only had positive correlation to specific occupations.should be made on a broad range of soft leadership criteria including personal integrity. DiSC®. indicated that there is a positive relationship of FFM dimensions to job performance. and personality. p. and the Five Factor Model (Barrick. Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (George. considerable personality-leadership effectiveness research has been conducted using the Big Five Personality Model or Five Factor Model (hereafter referred to as FFM). (Morgan. Barrick and Mount (2001) summarized the results of 15 meta-analytic studies.

28).41) and Experience-Openness (r = . 2003.39). 2002). | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 13 . 217).19)” (Larson. for decades researchers have suggested there is a direct link between personality and vocational interests. Investigative-Openness (r = . “For understanding an individual’s total personality. In an effort to determine correlation between personality and vocational interests. Enterprising-Extraversion (r = .. and Social-Agreeableness (r = .48).217).31). 2002. FFM Dimension Conscientiousness Emotional stability Extraversion Agreeableness Openness to experience Correlation to Job Performance Positive correlation in all jobs Positive correlation in all jobs Correlation for specific occupations only Correlation for specific occupations only Not relevant to most jobs Larsen (2002) declared.Table 1: Correlation Between the FFM Dimensions and Job Performance. p. Furnham. Larson declared.. studies were conducted using Holland’s Big Six domains of vocational interest and the Big Five model of personality traits (Barrick et al. Overall conclusions of these studies.41). five appeared to be substantial for both men and women and across interest measures. “Of the 30 correlations. Results of the study showed a clear link between personality type and vocational interests. 2001. Barrick’s (2003) research yielded similar results with EnterprisingExtraversion (r = . Larson et al. Social-Extraversion (r = . They are Artistic-Openness (r = . it is absolutely necessary to know something about the kinds and intensity of his interests” (p. In fact.

and Agreeableness. Five Factor Model of Personality The Five Factor Model of Personality consists of five primary personality traits: Neuroticism. “. showed that the Big Five was an accurate predictor of performance | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 14 . . Ployhart (2001) conducted a study to determine if the Five Factor Model of Personality (hereafter FFM) could predict transformational ratings of transformational leadership. indicate that while Big Five personality traits are directly related to the Big Six vocational interests. Extraversion and agreeableness positively predicted transformational leadership. . they are not substitutes for each other. . . p. Even though Block (1995) questioned the validity the Five Factor personality model he declared. it is relevant to gaining a macro understanding of a person’s personality (McCrae & John. it serves as a practical framework to bring cohesion to the myriad of personality theories (Digman. research conducted by Judge and Bono (2000) showed direct relationship between the Five Factor Model and transformational leadership. Smith (2001) investigated criticism that the Big Five model was an inadequate tool for personnel selection. 763). Although this model cannot account for all aspects of human personality. 207). Even though the Big Five is not a complete theory of personality. Extraversion. Results of the study showed a strong relationship between personality and transformational leadership. however. Bono states. Furthermore. Neuroticism and Conscientiousness were unrelated to transformational leadership. 1992). organizations might benefit from selecting leaders on the basis of certain personality traits” (2000.however. Openness and Experience were positively correlated to transformational leadership. “. 1997). Openness to Experience. Research.the contemporary Big Five represents a clarifying and advancing framework that can provide needed integration for the archaic field of personality assessment” (p.

validated method to assess personality characteristics. organizations develop a functional structure that enables it to successfully integrate with its external environment. 1991). Hollenbeck (2000) developed an integrated theory of person-organization fit in which the structure of an organization is compared to the personality traits of the organization’s people. and personnel data. to determine major personality characteristics is a more complex process than the self-administered DiSC® method | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 15 . Jackson. 2003. In addition. however. Barrick and Mount (1991) performed a meta-analysis to determine the correlation of the Big Five personality dimensions to three job performance criteria: job proficiency. Typically. The research with the FFM clearly shows the efficacy of using a well-structured. 2000). The functional structure characteristics create unique internal environment conditions that require organization members of particular personality traits in order to attain organization efficiency. 2000). 1993. Using FFM methods. The Big Five personality dimensions of Consciousness and Extraversion are significantly related to job performance and are a useful tool for examining the relationship between personality and job performance criteria (Barrick. Tett. Hollenbeck (2000) suggested that successful organizations employ people that have personality traits that enable the workers to fit well into both the organization’s internal and external environments. The meta-analysis showed a direct correlation with all performance criteria. training proficiency. Although personality assessment has utility for predicting job performance. researchers should be cognizant that their analysis should address the relations between the personality and contextual performance (Bryman & Stephens. 1996. Hurtz & Donovan. Hurtz & Donovan. & Rothstein.and that personality testing is an effective tool in personnel selection methods (Salgado. The five factor model of personality has proven to be effective to derive predictions of person-organization fit.

The personality dimension of Conscientiousness for both the FFM and DiSC® emphasize diplomacy in working with people while adhering to key directives and concentrating on task details.proposed for this research project. Dimensions of Steadiness and Emotional Stability refer to cooperation with other people while performing in a consistent. DiSC® Dimensions Dominance Influence Conscientiousness Emotional stability Five Factor Dimensions Extraversion Agreeableness and Open-to-experience Conscientiousness Steadiness The FFM dimension of Extroversion is a characteristic of having keen interest in other people. Agreeableness measures how compatible people are with other people. predictable manner (John. 1996. and venturing forth confidently into the unknown while the DiSC® dimension of Dominance is characterized by a person that accepts challenges and is comfortable with ambiguity. Table 2 Comparison of the Five Factor Model and DiSC® Personality Dimensions. 1996). MacDonald. 1995. Open-toExperience refers to how willing people are to making adjustments to accommodate new ideas or situations. external events. Juxtaposed to Agreeableness and open-to-experience is the DiSC® dimension of influence in which emphasizes personal compatibility with other people as well as viewing situations with optimism. The two methods are closely related as shown in the brief taxonomy of Table 2. DiSC Classic and models of personality. | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 16 .

Stogdill (1990) and Chemers (2000) found that some traits could be associated with leader success but in general. making sure that minority viewpoints were considered in decision making. The new approach to leadership theory incorporated contingency or situational factors. | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 17 . personality and physical traits were not solely predictive of leadership emergence or success. and situational environment characteristics. 28). 2000. 2000. House & Aditya. By the 1940’s it was becoming evident that personal traits alone could not reliably predict leadership success. Chemers. LBDQ evolved into several variations. empirically based leadership research programs at the University of Michigan and Ohio State University. the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (hereafter LBDQ). 1990. “Consideration included behaviors such as showing concern for the feelings for subordinates. leadership theorists changed their attention to the study of leader behavior and leadership style. designed to assess leadership style in terms if consideration and initiating structure (Bass & Stogdill. each of which incorporated statements that increased the instrument’s reliability. and emphasis on high levels of performance” (Chemers. Consequently. The Ohio State University studies focused on leader behavior and leadership style and produced a comprehensive 150-question instrument. leadership theorists suspected additional factors affected leadership style beyond what LBDQ identified. Eventually. leader-follower behaviors. LBDQ. p. criticism of poor work. This resulted in creation of comprehensive. 1997).Modern Leadership Theories Leadership theory has evolved from a focus on personal traits in the early 20th century to a 21st century integration of personal traits. and attempting to reduce conflict in the work environment…Initiation of Structure includes items measuring the leader’s use of standard operating procedures.

281). consultative. and position power. The Vroom-Yetton contingency model of leader behavior (Vroom. 1985). Situational characteristics mitigate differences between leaders and their natural leadership style (Schriesheim. Jago. and Least Preferred Coworker. & Vroom. Fiedler’s (1971) contingency model of leadership effectiveness emphasizes three salient leadership characteristics: leader-member relations. In an effort to provide credibility for this statement. & Tetrault. 1994). Nebeker (1975) declared. Contingency Theory Contingency theory addresses the relationship of a leader’s personality and leadership style to situational variables.however. Nebeker (1975) devised a study to integrate Fielder’s contingency model with Lawrence and Lorsch’s contingency organizational theory. 2000. 2000) is based on the hypothesis that in order for a leader to be effective. contingency theory addresses the interaction between situational variables and a leader’s task-motivation verses relationship-motivation. Etting. Lawrence and Lorsch (1969) posited that the environment in which the organization conducts its activities influenced an organization’s form or structure. the Situational Leadership Model. Managers behave situationally and adapt their behavior to the situations in question. In addition. he or she must employ different decisionmaking processes including autocratic. formed the genesis for several leader behavioral assessment theories such as the Managerial Grid. or group-oriented. and Nebeker’s (1975) research showed that there is a significant relationship between decision uncertainty and situation environment. Fiedler (1976) states. “The best organizational form or leadership style is contingent upon its appropriateness to a situation or environment” (p. “The research on the contingency model shows that | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 18 . In addition. contingent to a particular leadership situation (Goleman. task structure. Tepper.

619). personality.effective leadership depends on maintaining the right match of personality and of situation” (p. there must be a correct match of personality to a particular situation in order to increase leader effectiveness (Fiedler. Not only do these components interact. | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 19 . a higher probability of organizational effectiveness may be achieved if the leader can adjust his or her leadership style to the demands of the management situation. Consequently. personality measures should be carefully developed for specific situations. and leadership style. 1976). Situational Leadership “Whether a person is successful in a leadership job seems to depend as much on the situation as on the personality and skills he or she brings to the job” (Fiedler. The matching aspect of contingency theory paved the way for leadership theories that focused more intensely on situational phenomenon. Kanuk (1976) hypothesized that the effectiveness of managers could be attributed to his or her affiliation with employees and as well as using a leadership style appropriate to the situation. The Contingency Theory of leadership provided the foundation for studies that proved there is a definite link between situational variables. Guion and Gottier (1965) submit that using personality measures without considering work situation factors will not product an accurate prediction of job performance. 15). Results showed that managers with a mid-LPC score were effective in balancing their leadership style to address employee relations and task orientation. 1981. In order to be consistent and accurate. The least effective managers had high-LPC scores for employee relationship orientation at the expense of task orientation or had high-LPC scores for task orientation at the expense of employee relationship orientation. p. A study was conducted using the Least Preferred Coworker (hereafter referred to as LPC) method to measure effectiveness of managers in a retail store chain.

Major situational leadership approaches include the following theories: 1. When studying a situational environment it is important to consider a person’s external needs. 2000) | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 20 . 1979). and leadership styles to mitigate situational effects to produce greater leader effectiveness (Hollander. or are situational forces alone sufficient to predict and explain behavior?” (Tolstoy in House. and situation characteristics. and the nature of the external environment” (p. In addition. Least Preferred Co-worker Theory (Fiedler. Interaction of these factors and their affect on leadership became the basis for situational leadership research. In particular. the Ohio State University leadership studies of the 1940’s showed that there is a positive link between leader-traits.“Do individual dispositions significantly influence behavior. Leader Substitute Theory (Jermier & Kerr. 1996). 1971) 2.e. and satisfiers like those discovered by Maslow (1998). the nature of the work performed by the leader’s unit. personal and organizational culture. Blanchard & Hersey. 1985) 4. 261). it is important to determine a person’s disposition as expressed in personality characteristics (House. Yukl (1989) states. 1996. “The situational approach emphasizes the importance of contextual factors such as the leader’s authority and discretion. motives. 1989) 6. 1996) 3. 2001a. situational environment. Situational Leadership Theory (i. self-esteem. Tolstoy’s question is important because effective leadership does not depend solely on the person but is influenced by multiple factors including demographics. Path-Goal Theory (House. Life-Cycle theory of leadership) (Blanchard. Managerial Grid Theory (Blake & Mouton. the attributes of the subordinates. p. 1). 1997) 5. 1967. Normative Decision Theory (Yukl.

Graeff (1997) states. . pacesetting. 162). Multiple Linkage Theory (Yukl.7. 1989) 10. affiliatative. Cognitive Resources Theory (Fiedler & Garcia. a lack of consistency and incompleteness” (p. Use of a particular leadership style depends on situational conditions and subordinate involvement in the problem-solving process. Regarding situational leadership. 1989) There is a fundamental question in leadership theory as to whether or not there is a single effective leadership style for all situations (Argyris. Blake & Mouton. 2001b. Leader-Environment-Follower-Interaction Theory (Yukl. . 1957. depending on the task situation and subordinate characteristics. Leader Member Exchange Theory (Bass & Stogdill.the continued absence of a wellthought-out rationale to support its existence makes prescriptions regarding leader behavior vulnerable to a variety of criticisms including ambiguity. These leadership styles include coercive. is one who maintains a high batting average in accurately assessing the forces that determine what his most | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 21 . Situational Leadership Theory however continues to be popular as a commercial leadership-training tool because it appears to be easily understood by many people (Graeff. 1997). 164) that incorporates a bipolar scale from authoritative to democratic leadership styles. 1971). Effective leaders will use a combination of these leadership styles. Fielder. Tannenbaum (1973) states that a successful leader “. McGregor. 1982. and coaching. Goleman (2000) discovered six important leadership styles that have a positive effect on organization performance. 1998. Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973) proposed a “continuum of leadership behavior” (p. authoritative. 1960) or if leadership style should change with the situation (Blanchard. . “. 1990) 8. Pre-dating Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory. 1987) 9. House. . Furthermore. democratic. moving seamlessly from one style to another.

We argued that there could be best attitudes for managers but the there was no best leadership style. is member’s trust in their leader (Deluga. Blanchard (1996) declares. In Path-Goal Theory is a functional approach to leadership that calls for the leader to diagnose the situation and select the functions that will satisfy and motivate subordinates | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 22 . Blake and Mouton (1982. Therefore. 1990).appropriate behavior at any time should be and in actually being able to behave accordingly” (p. Key to effective leadermember exchange (hereafter LMX). In this perspective. 1994. 1993. In studies conducted by Deluga (1994) it was suggested that the higher the level of leader trust. the greater the leader’s rewards to followers. For example. 2002). 180). peopleorientation. 1985) posit that the most desirable leadership dimension or attitude is team management where the leader is equally task oriented and people oriented. all managers should be concerned about production and people. submit that the managerial grid focuses on a leader’s attitudinal dimensions of task-orientation. on the other hand. Hersey and Blanchard (1996). (p. depending on the situation. the greater the motivation and loyalty of members in exchange for the rewards under consideration (Bass & Stogdill. the leader would have consistent leadership style that will be effective at all levels of a subordinate’s maturity. the greater the LMX that was connected with organizational effectiveness and employee motivation. Kouzes & Posner. 43) Path-Goal & Exchange Theories The primary premise of the exchange and path-goal theories is that leadership effectiveness and subordinate motivation are a manifestation of the benefits derived from a leader-member relationship verses the effort required to create and maintain the relationship. however. concern for production. and concern for people while SLII® focuses on leadership style. But that concerned attitude can be expressed in different leadership styles.

1985) and it is one of several popular models of leadership style and behavior. 1971. are framed by situational factors (Kimberly & Rottman. and usually individual leadership styles. to the leader’s degree of concern for production. 1996). 1987). Country Club management: Maximum concern for people. p. | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 23 . Blake & Mouton. The types of decision-making processes used in an organization are contingent on the organization’s environment and structure. 324). Impoverished Management: Minimum concern for production. reducing roadblocks and pitfalls. minimum concern for production. make the path to these pay-offs easier to travel by clarifying it. Blake and Mouton (1982) posit that a leader’s skills should be matched to the properties in the situation. or relations-orientation. “Authority-Obedience management: Maximum concern for production. 1990. Management Grid Leadership Model The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan studies of the 1940’s formed the genesis of Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid III (Bass & Stogdill. p. 1982. . 23): 1. 3.(Schriesheim & Neider. therefore.personal pay-offs to subordinates for work-goal attainment. minimum concern for people. The model compares a leader’s degree of concern for people. and increasing the opportunities for personal satisfaction en route” (House. minimum concern for people. Primarily the leader’s role is to increase “. an organization’s management and decision methods. 2. In order to achieve effectiveness. These leader tasks appear to relate to the Situational Leadership II model in that these are the types of activities a leader may use along the leadership curve depending on the subordinate’s job maturity and situation environment. Environment variables stem from both present and anticipated internal and external forces. or task-orientation. The Managerial Grid displays five major leadership styles as follows (Blake & Mouton. .

Team Management. Barnes. Authority-Obedience. Organization Man Management: Middle concern for production. 1964).” According to Blake (1982) if the management situation is concerned with activities of a manufacturing shop floor the most effective management style will probably be style one. A study was conducted where test subjects took the Managerial Grid self-assessment before attending an appropriate training session. Blake and Mouton (Blake & Mouton. Bernardin and Alvares (1976) questioned the validity of the Managerial Grid as a predictor of leadership. Mouton. A management situation involving sales activities may be more successful if a Country-Club style is used. Results showed a 32% decline in participant’s rating of their leadership style. Blake (1966) states. An important contribution of leadership assessment theories such as the Managerial Grid. middle concern for people. Through the comprehensive research at a large parent firm whose | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 24 .4. Team management: Maximum concern for production. after participating in a Managerial Grid training program. 1976) pointed out that it is critical for test participants to attend the appropriate training session before taking any type of leadership selfassessment test. 5. this is especially true for the Managerial Grid assessment. In an environment like the project teams lead by a project manager. “The Managerial Grid is an intellectual framework of ways that men manage. Bernardin (1976) concluded that the Managerial Grid theory was not a predictor of leadership effectiveness. 30). & Greiner. and Least Preferred Co-worker is that they link behavioral science concepts to an employee’s learning ability and total organization development (Blake. the most effective results may be achieved through style five. Situational Leadership II. maximum concern for people. the test subjects retook the assessment. One week later. In rebuttal. Consequently. It is used to summarize management practices and compare them with behavioral science theories” (p.

that training involving modern management theories such as the Managerial Grid. This may provide a partial explanation of why the Managerial Grid and Situational Leadership II form the basis of popular commercial leadership training programs. have no motivation to selfdirect themselves (Blake. however. The model is based on Hersey and Blanchard’s interpretation of | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 25 . Studies have showed. non-leadership researchers immediately perceive or mentally understand. p. Hogan (1994) was disguised as Piedmont and its divisional plant disguised as Sigma. “. without intermediate explanation. Sloma. & Loftin. Mouton. These programs appear to be intuitively appealing to non-academicians. 2001b). synergy is generated that produces greater organization productivity and efficiency. what we know about leadership seems to have little impact on the people who actually make decisions about leadership” (p. That is. Some management scholars have questioned the efficacy of applying modern management theories to both managerial levels and line levels of an organization. . Situational Leadership II Leadership Model Another popular leadership model that has its roots in the Ohio State leadership studies is the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership II model (hereafter SLII) (Blanchard. the practical application of leadership concepts. Conventional wisdom dictated that people essentially do not want to work and therefore. 1968). When line employees and upper managers understand the Managerial Grid method. 494). . 155) concluded that behavioral science concepts could be transferred into organizational action. Blake (1964. can be efficacious to employees at all levels of an organization. In expressing concern that the benefits of the social scientific study of leadership are not being applied enough in practical situations.

p. The most effective behavioral style of leaders is one that varies with the situation. Situational leadership recognizes the subordinate as the most important factor in determining the most appropriate leader behavior as well as the need for leader flexibility as the leadership situation changes (Graeff. the willingness and the ability to take responsibility. p.” Bass (1990) states. 489). . 1983.propositions derived from empirical research. and still others do both or do neither. 1990. Some leader’s behavior primarily involves initiating structure to accomplish tasks. 4. and the education and experience of an individual or group” (Blanchard. other leaders behave to build and maintain good personal relationships. 3. 2. has been ambiguity regarding what constitutes maturity and lack of theoretical relevance justifying the SLII® task-maturity curve. . 5. The best altitudinal style is a high task. 1974. 1992). The job and psychological maturity of the followers is most crucial in determining which behavioral style of leaders will result in the most effectiveness. Blake.and a high relations orientation. “Leadership varies considerably from leader to leader. 1990). 27). the capacity to set high but attainable goals. however. Maturity relates to the stage in a group’s lifecycle or to the previous education and training of the followers. In SLII® job-level maturity is defined as “. “The most effective leadership is conceived to depend on whether the leader’s task-oriented or relations-oriented behavior matches the subordinate’s maturity” (p. 6. Research has show that SLII® is useful in predicting leader-follower interaction at low to moderate degrees of job-level maturity but is less effective for high degree of follower job-level maturity (Norris & Vecchio. 488): 1. The problem with the SLII® model. Empirical research has shown that lower job-level employees responded well to | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 26 . The propositions are (Bass & Stogdill.

quality of work. and job-specific personality requirements (Tett et al.monitoring while higher job-level employees responded well to consideration (Fernandez & Vecchio. 1992). employee job tenure. 1998). it is important to consider other factors such as employee age. Norris & Vecchio. Kivlighan. 1990) Leadership Effectiveness and Adaptability Description (hereafter LEAD) to be an accurate predictor of leadership success at using adaptive or non-adaptive leadership styles. Results of the study showed that a variety of leader behaviors such as coaching. a growing body of research and theory has accumulated that indicates the utility of conceptualizing personality structure and coherence in | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 27 . Furthermore. and units produced. reject rates. Dhar (2001) concluded that leaders should change their leadership style to encourage subordinates to improve their skill and increase their confidence. Because leaders need to adjust their leadership style over time to match the development changes of work groups. Dhar and Mishra (2001) studied leadership effectiveness and productivity of workers in India. and explaining were important in developing subordinate work skills and improving organization productivity. Therefore.. 1997). Leadership effectiveness depends on leadership style as well as the situation environment. “Over the last ten years. mentoring. 1996. leaders should anticipate situation changes and proactively adjust their leadership style (Fielder. profitability. Furthermore. The research study showed that Hersey and Blanchard’s (Bass & Stogdill. Silverthorne (2001) conducted research on the effect of adaptive and non-adaptive leadership styles on six variables of productivity: absenteeism. 1991). turnover rate. Shoda (2001) states. Changes to some situational variables may influence other situational variables thus keeping the leadership challenge in a state of flux. Situational Leadership Theory is useful in instructing leaders in the importance of changing leadership style as group job maturity changes (Blanchard & Hersey. 1997.

A calm. The result was the establishment of research | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 28 . In the early 20th century. This same individual. In this great man leadership theory. therefore. that there will be efficacy in using personality assessment in conjunction with situational management theories such as the Management Grid or Situational Leadership II in order to accurately predict leadership effectiveness. however. This relatively one dimensional approach allows the leadership process to be less demanding because the homogeneity of the followers allows a leader to generate energy that will naturally move his or her followers toward their common goal. Bureaucratic organization structure. a homogeneous work force. and authoritarian leadership theories typified American leadership (Jacques. 1996). Summary Leadership is often defined relative to our perspectives of particular people we admire. cultural. When it became evident that job skills and personality traits were not adequate predictors of leadership success.terms of Person X Situation interactions” (p. may fail as a leader if he or she had to organize a multi-dimensional group. religious. leadership theory began to incorporate a personality trait perspective as well as job related skills-based attributes as the basis of determining leadership qualifications. leadership theorists began to consider behavioral and situational characteristics as well. Leadership theory became more comprehensive and distinctly occidental in nature after British colonization of North America and development of a federalist mentality within the colonies. The successful American Revolution against England and American Civil War created the foundation for an industrial revolution in the United States. political. believe and are willing to support. 533). It appears. leaders appeal to our specific ethnic. or national characteristics. tenacious individual can organize the followers and easily lead them to achieve their goal.

1997). The Managerial Grid III and Situational Leadership II sought to provide a basis for understanding leader behavior relative to situational variables and follower’s characteristics. the Ohio State studies served as the genesis for popular leadership theories such as the Managerial Grid III and Situational Leadership II. psychological characteristics.. House & Aditya. 2001. Ultimately. Therefore. and situational variables to produce leadership success (Barrick et al. The ultimate goal will be to improve the project manager’s job satisfaction and increase his or her job-tenure while enabling the project manager to become a leader that can kindle the vision and energy of their co-workers through sincerity and enthusiasm while providing direction to achieve a common goal. SLII® may be an effective tool to improving a project manager’s understanding of his or her job environment variables. In particular. the Hersey and Blanchard (2001b) Situational Leadership II model lends itself as an effective device for understanding leader behavior relative to variations in situational characteristics and subordinate’s behavior.organizations at notable academic institutions such as Ohio State University and the University of Michigan that focused studies on the interaction between personality. | Relationship Between Leadership and Personality 29 .

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