leader performance

In short, the research reviewed above shows that the relationship between individual differences and leadership outcomes is com- plex, and it raises the question of what types of processes leaders might use to assess their situational demands and flexibly draw on their intelligence and experience to contingently alter their leadership behaviors (Boal & Hooijberg, 2001; Kozlowski et al., 2009; Morgeson et al., 2010). Our belief is that process perspectives are needed to further our knowledge as to how traits relate to leader performance, and Fig. 3 is consistent with our argument that leadership needs to be considered at an event-level. This process- oriented view of personality and self-complexity can also help build upon the limited research on leadership behavioral flexibility — i.e., a leader’s ability to recognize, interpret, and adapt new solutions that are appropriate to the context (Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, Jacobs, & Fleishman, 2000; Zaccaro et al., 1991). Although studies have shown that certain traits like self-monitoring appear to facilitate behavioral flexibility (Hall, Workman, &Marchioro, 1998), we need amore comprehensive system for thinking about the flexibility of leadership behavior and the flexible use of individual (or group) resources in responding to leadership demands. As de- scribed in the following section, this system is better provided by process views of personality, which explain how stable processing structures, coupled with dynamic intrapersonal processes, are capable of producing behavior that adjusts flexibly to new situations.

  1. Process views of personality

Over the past decade, the application of cognitive and social–cognitive sciences to personality constructs has offered a means to reconcile differences between dispositional and process perspectives by re-conceptualizing the structure of personality as a stable, but dynamic system of interconnected networks of selves. This system bears resemblance to the connectionist networks of leadership perception described previously (e.g., Hannah et al., 2009; Lord et al., 2001); and network models of the self are rel- evant when explaining how thoughts, beliefs, and actions can exhibit both variability and stability in different situations, and at different points in time (Fleeson, 2001; Hannah et al., 2009; Mischel & Shoda, 1998; Read et al., 2010; Shoda et al., 2002; Tett & Burnett, 2003). Here, the importance of intrapersonal processes and a focus on events becomes central to understanding leader- ship outcomes, which we expand upon by first considering newer conceptualizations of personality and the structure of the self.

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