Daan van Knippenberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398991
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology


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Leadership research has a long history from both personality psychological and social psychological perspectives, but integrated treatment of these person-situation influences is surprisingly scarce. To sketch the contours of such an integrated approach, I first outline the personality approach to leadership effectiveness and then move on to an alternative to straightforward conceptualizations of leader personality-leadership effectiveness linkages: a person-in-situation perspective that sees leadership effectiveness as a function of the interaction between leader personality and situation (task, follower, and context characteristics) and that incorporates insights form social psychological, behavior-in-situation research in leadership. Although the person-in-situation perspective is far less developed than probably it should be, there are indicators that it holds more promise for our understanding of leadership effectiveness than more one-sided approaches. I aim to capture what can be concluded on the basis of the evidence so far as well as present an associated research agenda for the further development of this perspective on the interface of the personality and social psychology of leadership.

Keywords: leadership; personality; trait activation; five-factor model; transformational leadership; charismatic leadership; social identity; social exchange

Article.  21384 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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