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Developmental stability and leadership effectiveness

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date04/2012
JournalThe Leadership Quarterly
Journal number2
Volume23
Number of pages12
Pages281-291
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Developmentalstability is the degree to which we can withstand environmental or genetic stressors during development. Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), concerns the extent to which the right and left side of the body is asymmetrical and is one way to measure developmentalstability. Two studies were carried out that examined both the predictive value of leader FA with leadership behaviors and its role in facilitating group performance. The first study examined the hypothesis that a leader's FA is correlated with scores on the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). The results revealed individuals with a more asymmetrical morphology scored higher on the transformational, but not transactional, dimensions of leadership behavior. A second study examined the hypothesis that asymmetrical morphology and leadershipeffectiveness would share a positive relationship. In this study participants who led a business game exercise, revealed a positive relationship between FA and self-reported well-being and task satisfaction. Importantly, there was also a positive correlation between the leader's FA score and group performance. The role that developmentalstability may play in leadershipeffectiveness is discussed in the wider context of evolutionary psychology.