Follower-rated leadership styles, leader behaviours, and leaders' thinking styles: A test of the cognitive experiential leadership model

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Abstract

Objective: The Cognitive Experiential Leadership Model (CELM) predicts that leaders' thinking styles will be related to transformational leadership and effective leadership behaviours, especially influencing tactics and conflict handling styles. However, most of the existing evidence for this model comes from studies that have used self-report methods where self-presentational biases may influence the studies' results. Moreover, there is incomplete evidence for the proposed connections in this model between thinking styles, leadership styles, and leadership behaviour. Method: Using anonymous other-report surveys, in Study 1, followers (N = 192) rated how their leaders think and lead, and in Study 2 followers (N = 129) rated how their leaders think, influence, and handle conflict. Results: As the CELM predicts, leaders' tendency to think rationally and experientially (especially imaginatively) was related to their transformational leadership (Study 1), and their use of effective influencing tactics and conflict management styles (Study 2). Conclusion: Together these studies provide new evidence for the CELM that is not explained by social desirability biases, and suggest a role for follower ratings of leaders' thinking styles in leadership development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2020

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