Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Debra Steele-Johnson, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Megan Gerhardt, Ph.D. (Committee Member); David LaHuis, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Corey Miller, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories (ILTs and IFTs, respectively) are individuals’ schemas composed of attributes that characterize leaders and followers. ILTs and IFTs are commonly measured through direct measures, however, researchers have questioned the validity of popular direct measures. With better and more parallel measures, we can examine the extent to which individuals think about leaders and followers as similar or dissimilar. Also, although substantial research has examined predictors of explicit leadership and leaders’ behavior, little research has attempted to examine antecedents of implicit leadership or followership. Using a sample of working adults (N = 243), the current study created more comprehensive ILT and IFT measures Using a different sample of workers (N = 242), the study examined the extent to which people think of leaders and followers as similar versus dissimilar, explored which individual differences might explain individuals’ implicit ratings of leaders and followers, and conducted some preliminary validation of the new ILT and IFT measures. This study provided initial evidence that leadership and followership might reflect different levels of the same attributes and suggested that several antecedents, including personality characteristics, leadership preferences, and following behaviors, were related to individuals’ ratings for what they expect in a leader and follower.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded