The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive examination of different leadership constructs investigated extensively, namely transformational and transactional leadership, laissez-faire, consideration, and initiating structure, as well as leader-member-exchange. The theoretical overlap as well as the empirical correlations between these constructs is explored.
Overall, 735 correlations were analyzed to generate a meta-analytical correlation matrix.
The meta-analyses revealed highly interrelated leadership constructs (0.26<∣ρ∣<0.74). Results of confirmatory factor analyses suggest a one factor solution of leadership.
The uniqueness and construct validity of leadership constructs is challenged, calling for a revision of the respective leadership theories. Ultimately, an integrative theory of leadership should be developed which accounts for similarities as well as differences between leadership constructs. An integrated theory of leadership would help: researchers to combine their forces and, consequently, organizations across the globe to better select and develop leaders for the future.
By taking a critical, cross-theoretical compare and contrast approach, the present study yielded a comprehensive picture of the interrelationship and partial redundancy of several of the currently researched leadership constructs.
New insights into the overlap between leadership constructs were generated and confirmed by meta-analyses.
This research was supported by the German Research Council (DFG, No. RO 3058/5-1, Principal Investigator: Jens Rowold. The assistance of Anneke Söpper, Jasmin Laurenawitz, Frauke Stiller, and Tobias Antonik with data collection is gratefully acknowledged.
Rowold, J., Borgmann, L. and Diebig, M. (2015), "A “Tower of Babel”? – interrelations and structure of leadership constructs", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 137-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-01-2013-0009Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited