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Leadership research and literature has experienced a renewed interest in the domain of leadership traits, as it currently focuses more on the perceptual processes that support leadership than on universal leadership traits that are considered to be effective in all situations (Epitropaki, 2004). This has led to a development of implicit leadership theory, which explains that there is a conceptual structure that defines leadership in the minds of people (Wenquan, 2000; Javidan, Dorfman, De Luque, & House, 2006). Theoretical research in the socialcognitive arena of leadership studies suggests that follower personality traits should affect their social perceptions that are used in the creation of implicit leadership prototypes (Lord, De Vader, &Alliger, 1986).This quantitative study examines the relationship between follower Big-Five personality traits and implicit leadership theory dimensions. The results of the study indicate that the Big Five personality traits of sensitivity and conscientiousness have the strongest positive relationships with the implicit leadership dimensions of agreeableness and dedication, respectively.


Originally published as:

An Examination of the Impact of Personality on Implicit Leadership Theory. International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology. Vol. 4, No. 4; July 2014.