An Examination of Leadership Beliefs and Leadership Self-Identity: Constructs, Correlates, and Outcomes

Open Access
Hiller, Nathan J.
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 19, 2005
Committee Members:
  • David E Day, Committee Chair
  • James Lewis Farr, Committee Member
  • Donald C Hambrick, Committee Member
  • Susan Mohammed, Committee Member
  • self-monitoring
  • core self-evaluation
  • leadership potential
  • self-identity
  • orientation toward leadership
  • LMX
  • self-schema
  • leadership
  • development
  • experience
  • medical
The way we think about ourselves as leaders and what we believe leadership to be are important guides of subsequent thoughts and actions in the leadership domain. In two separate studies, measures of self-representations in the domain of leadership (leadership self-identity) and views about the nature of leadership (orientation toward leadership) were developed and examined in a sample of undergraduates and a sample of medical center employees. Among the student sample, possessing a leadership self-identity was related to previous leadership experience, core self-evaluations, motivation to lead, and self-monitoring. The three dimensions of leadership orientation (dominance, development, and shared) were differentially related to individualism and collectivism dimensions. In the medical center sample, results of hierarchical linear modeling showed no main effects of supervisor leadership self-identity on leadership potential or leader-member exchange. In several cases, however, leadership self-identity of supervisors interacted with leadership orientation in predicting ratings of subordinate leadership potential. Interest in leadership development was related to leadership identity and leadership orientation through both main and interaction effects. These results provide some evidence that both self-identity around leadership and cognitive beliefs about the nature of leadership need to be examined in order to better understand leadership phenomena.