Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta-analytic test of their relative validity

  • Derue D
  • Nahrgang J
  • Wellman N
 et al. 
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The leadership literature suffers from a lack of theoretical integra-tion (Avolio, 2007, American Psychologist, 62, 25–33). This arti-cle addresses that lack of integration by developing an integrative trait-behavioral model of leadership effectiveness and then exam-ining the relative validity of leader traits (gender, intelligence, personality) and behaviors (transformational-transactional, initiat-ing structure-consideration) across 4 leadership effectiveness crite-ria (leader effectiveness, group performance, follower job satisfac-tion, satisfaction with leader). Combined, leader traits and behaviors explain a minimum of 31% of the variance in leadership effectiveness criteria. Leader behaviors tend to explain more variance in leadership effectiveness than leader traits, but results indicate that an integrative model where leader behaviors mediate the relationship between leader traits and effectiveness is warranted.

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  • D. Scott Derue

  • Jennifer D. Nahrgang

  • Ned Wellman

  • Stephen E. Humphrey

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