Follower Characteristics and Preference for Styles of Leadership Behavior

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Silverman, Greg
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this study was to determine how the eight common personality types identified by Hogan Assessments – Rebels, Marketers, Proletarians, Congenials, Over-Achievers, Networkers, Misfits, or Preppers – differ in their patterns of preferences for the leadership styles of task-oriented, relationship-oriented, and change-oriented leadership. Data were collected using a survey published on Amazon Mechanical Turk, which consisted of forced-choice comparisons of the eight personality types and seven-point Likert scales measuring the preference for the leadership styles’ specific behaviors. A sample of 291 participants, who were all at least 25 years of age, currently working in the U.S., proficient at reading and speaking English, and had worked for a supervisor for at least five years, was used for the study. The results showed that the patterns of preference for the three leadership styles were different depending on the personality type, F(14, 564) = 1.95, p = .020, but every personality type preferred either task-oriented or relationship-oriented leadership more than change-oriented leadership. Over-Achievers and Proletarians generally preferred overall leadership the most, while Marketers and Congenials tended to prefer it the least. Even though preferences were different across personality types, the mean differences for overall leadership were within one point, on average, and the preferences for the three leadership styles were all within two points across all eight types. The findings both provide further evidence that preference for leadership depends on follower characteristics and can help leaders to align their leadership styles to the preferences of their followers.
Change-oriented leadership, Leadership Styles, Personality, Preference, Relationship-oriented leadership, Task-oriented leadership, Psychology, Personality psychology