Follower perspectives of “just right”: Toward a theory of leader versatility

Open Access
Reimer, Robert Douglas
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
October 01, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Rick R Jacobs, Thesis Advisor
  • leadership
  • personality
  • versatility
  • outcomes
This study employed a person-centered approach to classify leaders with respect to measures of forceful, enabling, strategic, and operational behaviors. The sampled leaders (N =3,249) are representative of a variety of organizations across North America. Broadly defined, versatility involves leadership behaviors that compliment dynamic conditions. This definition intimates the leader’s intentional regulation of behaviors in the real-world milieu of ever-changing workplace conditions coupled with enduring expectations for high performance. Latent profile analysis provides evidence for four types of leaders: individuating, collaborative, directive, and domineering. Theoretical arguments for personality acting as an antecedent to versatility types are offered. Meaningful associations were identified between the types and outcome measures (i.e., supervisory ratings of leader effectiveness, leader ratings of team performance, and measures of team climate). Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.