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Leadership Emergence in Autonomous Work Teams: Who is More Willing to Lead?

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Abstract:

In a leaderless autonomous work team context, if people have a high motivation to lead (MTL) others and actively engage in leadership behaviors, these motivations and behaviors would distinguish them from other group members, leading them to be recognized as leaders of their groups. Therefore, MTL is an important determinant of leadership emergence in autonomous work teams. With a sample of 136 participants in a leadership development program, I examined the relationship between individual differences in internal (i.e., need for cognitive closure [NFC]) and external factors (i.e., seniority, culture) and MTL in the autonomous work team environment. The data showed that high NFC individuals had high noncalculative and social-normative MTL and, thus, were more likely to become leaders in their work teams. There was also a significant interaction between culture and gender in regard to social-normative MTL. Seniority was not an influential predictor for social-normative MTL.

Keywords: AUTONOMOUS WORK TEAMS; LEADERSHIP EMERGENCE; MOTIVATION TO LEAD

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.9.1451

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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