Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nathan Bowling (Committee Member), Corey Miller (Committee Member), Debra Steele-Johnson (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Leadership research largely has ignored the extent to which followers influence leaders and the leadership process. Even fewer studies have examined the effect of Implicit Leadership Theories (ILTs) and Implicit Followership Theories (IFTs) on performance and affective outcomes. In prior research, there is an implicit assumption that ILTs and IFTs are compatible, but little research has examined the presence of incongruent ILTs and IFTs and potential effects incongruence might have on organizational outcomes. The current study examined the effect of ILT/IFT congruence on organizational outcomes (performance, satisfaction, and perceived leader effectiveness) in two different samples: a student sample (N = 287) and a work sample (N = 250). ILT/IFT congruence was unrelated to performance, course/job satisfaction, and perceived instructor/leader satisfaction. However, explicit measures of leadership (Consideration, Initiating Structure, Followership, and LMX) and cognitive dissonance were related to most of these outcomes. Although I did not find support for the expected relationships, my research highlighted several issues and future research directions relevant to ILT and IFT research, including how to measure and conceptualize ILT/IFT congruence, the influence of congruence on organizational outcomes, and the role cognitive dissonance in organizational outcomes.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering

Year Degree Awarded