WBRC research seminar- A network change perspective on extraversion and leadership emergence

Blaine Landis, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at University College London discusses extraversion in our understanding of who emerges as a leader.

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Extraversion is important in our understanding of who emerges as a leader, but the literature largely evaluates leadership emergence at a single point in time, neglecting meaningful changes in who is being led. Here, we suggest that the notion of extraverts as emergent leaders among an unchanging cast of followers is overly simplistic. In two longitudinal studies, we propose that extraverts endure as emergent leaders because they gain new followers as they lose old ones, and that they experience a hitherto neglected advantage in maintaining a larger number of followers, even after controlling for the initial size of their leadership networks. In Study 1 (= 545), extraverted MBA students gained more new followers and maintained more existing followers, but also lost more old followers. In Study 2 (N = 764), we replicated and extended these results in a professional services firm and tested six theoretically derived mediators concerning why extraverts lose followers over time. Extraversion predicted the number of followers entering, remaining in, and leaving leadership networks over time, especially where there was no direct reporting relationship. Together, this research introduces the importance of leadership network change for our understanding of extraversion and emergent leaders.

About the speaker:

Blaine Landis is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at University College London. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on social networks in organizations, personality, and interpersonal perception.