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Does leadership show through behavior?

KOCK, A. (2016) Does leadership show through behavior?

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Abstract:Because public concerts raise many public safety concerns with respect to the escalation of group excitement it seems important to monitor groups to prevent hazardous incidents. Research suggests that it can be effective to engage with leaders of groups (Solera et al., 2015). The purpose of this paper is therefore to investigate whether it is possible to (validly) detect a leader within a group on the basis of behavioral data. It was supposed that (a) (perceived) leaders show initiative behavior and have (b) less interpersonal distance compared with the followers. Groups where (c) leaders have closer physical proximity to the group are hypothesized to perform better. Furthermore, it was asked whether the perceived leader can be recognized on the basis of walking distance. These effects are expected to be greater in groups with formal leaders than in groups with informal leaders. An experiment with groups of four was executed. The groups had to search locations while wearing GPS-trackers. Half of the groups had a directed (formal) leader and the other half had an informal leader. The perceived cohesion of the group and the representativeness of the chosen leader were also measured. The results revealed that leaders tend to show initiative behavior. The representativeness also played a key role. It (significantly) predicted interpersonal distance, task performance and duration. The type of group had an influence on interpersonal distance and task performance. From this it can be concluded that it is not the membership (being a leader or not) that has a crucial influence on behavioral patterns, but the representativeness of the leader.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/69849
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