Is Leadership a Part of Me? An Identity Approach to Understanding the Motivation to Lead

48 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2011 Last revised: 3 Sep 2012

See all articles by Laura Guillen

Laura Guillen

ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Konstantin Korotov

ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Margarita Mayo

Fundación Instituto de Empresa, S.L.

Date Written: August 29, 2012

Abstract

Drawing on identity and social comparison theories, we propose and test a model of motivation to lead based on two types of self-to-role comparisons (i.e., self-comparisons with specific leaders and with more abstract representations of the leadership role). We propose that these comparisons imply different identity verification purposes and have different consequences on the motivation of individuals. The results obtained by using structural equation models and response surface techniques among a sample of 180 executives support our predictions. We hypothesize and find that a perceived similarity with a significant leader has a positive effect on the motivation to lead and that this relationship is mediated by self-efficacy perceptions. We also find that the affective, but not the social-normative component, is higher when there is self-role congruence with respect to leadership dimensions such as “power” and “affiliation”. We discuss theoretical and practical implications for leadership and the subjective fit at work.

Keywords: motivation to lead, self-to-role comparisons, self-efficacy perceptions, identity

Suggested Citation

Guillen, Laura and Korotov, Konstantin and Mayo, Margarita, Is Leadership a Part of Me? An Identity Approach to Understanding the Motivation to Lead (August 29, 2012). ESMT Working Paper No. 11-04 (R1). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1803395 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1803395

Laura Guillen

ESMT European School of Management and Technology ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Germany

Konstantin Korotov (Contact Author)

ESMT European School of Management and Technology ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Germany

Margarita Mayo

Fundación Instituto de Empresa, S.L. ( email )

Mª Molina, 12 - 5º
Madrid, 28006
Spain
915689741 (Phone)

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