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Observer ratings of personality and leadership emergence: A multi-level approach.

[Speaker] Føllesdal, Hallvard:1
1:BI Norwegian Business School (Norway)

This study assessed to what extent ratings of personality, provided by observers in two different contexts, can predict leadership emergence in a third context. Participants (126 women and 43 men, mean age 40 years) in an executive leadership program completed a brief measure of personality (BFI20) before they participated in leaderless discussion groups for five days. Participants then rated each other on leadership emergence, and were rated on the BFI20 by fellow group members (1225 raters), friends or family (636 raters), and colleagues at work (579 raters). Multilevel analyses revealed that self-ratings of personality were only a moderate predictor of leadership emergence, while ratings by family or friends, and especially colleagues at work, were better predictors. Along with control variables (sex and age), ratings from these sources explained 18, 22, and 38 percent of the variance in leadership emergence, respectively. Results and implications of the findings will be discussed.
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