Evidence of such behavioral variability can be illustrated by Fleeson (2001), who used experience sampling methodologies to demonstrate that there was just as much within- as between-person variability in the behaviors that manifest as the Big Five traits of personality, and that such variation occurred throughout the course of a day. In addition, research on one’s active self- concept or identity also contributes to our understanding of behavioral variability. In fact, Markus and Wurf (1987) maintain that behavior is closely regulated by one’s working self-concept (WSC), which is the currently active part of a much larger, mul- tifaceted self-structure. Because the WSC varies with contexts, roles, and different social relations (Andersen & Chen, 2002;
The Leadership Quarterly 23 (2012) 651–669
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McConnell, 2011), behavior can be more varied than dispositional approaches imply. This occurs as different WSC constrains how leaders (and followers) selectively process information (Johnson & Lord, 2010; van Knippenberg, van Knippenberg, De Cremer, & Hogg, 2004), and how different goals and behaviors emerge (Lord, Diefendorff, Schmidt, & Hall, 2010). Indeed, leaders with great- er self-complexity are thought to be better able to flexibly adjust to changing social and task demands (Hannah, Lord, & Pearce, 2011; Hooijberg, Hunt, & Dodge, 1997). Interestingly, self-structures can operate implicitly as well as explicitly (Johnson & Lord, 2010), and thus, can affect behavioral variability in ways of which people are unaware.
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