Leader self-structure: A framework for positive leadership

Sean T. Hannah, Robert L. Woolfolk, Robert G. Lord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We expand the conceptualization of positive leadership and hypothesize that leaders' ability to influence followers across varied complex situations will be enhanced through the development of a rich and multifaceted self-construct. Utilizing self-complexity theory and other aspects of research on self-representation, we show how the structure and structural dynamics of leaders' self-constructs are linked to their varied role demands by calling forth cognitions, affects, goals and values, expectancies, and self-regulatory plans that enhance performance. Through this process, a leader is able to bring the "right stuff" (the appropriate ensemble of attributes) to bear on and succeed in the multiple challenges of leadership. We suggest future research to develop dimensional typologies related to leadership-relevant aspects of the self and also to link individual positive self-complexity to more aggregate positive organizational processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-290
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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