Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Date of Defense

4-29-2014

Graduate Advisor

Mark Tubbs, PhD.

Committee

Haim Mano

John Meriac

Stephanie Merritt

Abstract

Leadership involves the dyadic relationship between a leader and his or her followers. As such, the thoughts and attitudes of followers are an integral part of this relationship. Romance of leadership (ROL) is the degree to which followers believe that leadership “is the premiere force in the scheme of organizational events or occurrences” (Felfe, 2005; Meindl & Ehrilich, 1987). The current research examined ROL by looking at 1) the dimensionality and construct validity of ROL, 2) the difference between explicit and implicit measurement of ROL, and 3) the relationship between ROL and evaluations of leader effectiveness in a changing environment. ROL was found to be best conceptualized as a three-dimensional construct with the various dimensions having differing relationships with constructs of interest. While implicit ROL was not significantly related to explicit ROL, implicit ROL did not demonstrate incremental validity over explicit ROL. Finally, ROL was minimally related to changes in employee thoughts and attitudes in two instances of environmental change. However, when participants read about a leader’s intention to retire in a scenario, interchangeability of the leader moderated the relationship between organizational performance and employees’ projections of future leader effectiveness. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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