It’s just good leadership, or is it? The role of behavioral relevance

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Reimer, Robert Douglas
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 13, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Rick R Jacobs, Dissertation Advisor
  • Rick R Jacobs, Committee Chair
  • Susan Mohammed, Committee Member
  • James Marshall Lebreton, Committee Member
  • Christian Brady, Outside Member
  • Leadership
  • adaptive leadership
  • leader versatility
  • flexible leadership
The enduring pursuit of leadership theorists is to explain how and why leaders are able to consistently produce high quality outcomes. In response to rapidly evolving workplace environments, a growing stream of research focuses on how leaders adapt. The underlying assumption of these theories is that leaders who apply relevant behaviors in response to rapidly changing contexts are more successful. This paper examines this assumption, providing support that suggests the need to account for the relevance of leader behaviors while also preserving a traditional focus upon the value leaders produce for followers and their organizations. Results from latent profile analysis and hierarchical regression of a large field sample demonstrate the importance of accounting for the unique information provided by diverse rating sources. Evidence suggests followers are best suited to assess interpersonal interactions with leaders, whereas peers are better judges of how the leader contributes value to the organization. Practical applications and recommendations for continuing research are also provided.