*Leader Identity is a measure of how much a person considers themself to be a leader.

**An implicit leadership theory is an individual’s “prototypical” idea of a leader—who they are, how they will act, and what they will look like.



LeAD Labs has three main research streams:

LD for Specific Groups:

 This domain explores both access to leader development and effective leader development approaches for specific groups.
Example Topics: Women, Black and Latinx Leaders, LGBT leaders, low performers, HIPOs, and new leaders.

The Psychological Process of LD:

 This domain explores the underlying mechanisms through which leaders develop.
Example Topics: self-awareness, leader identity, regulatory system, motivation, and enacted mastery.

LD in Alternative Contexts:

This domain explores how leader development occurs in contexts other than organizations.
Example topics: LD in sports or LD through volunteering.

Current Research Questions

  1. To what extent does leader identity* moderate the relationship between under-rating and actual performance for women leaders?
  2. What are the best practices of women’s leadership development (LD) programs? What components of women’s LD programs are effective/less effective in yielding observable outcomes in women’s LD? What is the current state of the field of practice of women’s LD? Recommendations for the future.
  3.  How do implicit leadership theories** differ by race (or broader demographics) and what are the implications of that for LD? More specifically, how do followers’ ILTs (preference for effective leader behaviors) differ based on follower racial/gender/gender identity group? How does that interact with the racial/gender/gender identity group of the target leader?
  4. What are the unique development experiences and pathways of LGBTQ+ leaders? Can we develop a grounded theory of LGBTQ+ LD? What is the interaction between the continuum of sex type (masculinity – androgeny – femininity) and LGBTQ+ category on the emergence and perceived effectiveness of leaders?
  5. How does LD (e.g., developmental behaviors, leader-self-views) spread throughout a social network?What is the role of network characteristics in accelerating the contagion of LD?
  6. Why do individuals form stronger leader identities in certain contexts over other contexts? In other words, through what process does someone start/stop thinking of themselves as a leader in a singular domain/context and generalize a leader identity across domains?
  7. What are the most predictive aspects of the developmental experiences of a community service that facilitate the development of empathetic leadership attitudes and skills? and why (e.g., through what psychological mechanisms such as perspective taking)? And for whom (e.g., individuals with different individual differences such as LDR)?
  8. How might features of male-dominated work cultures—which remain common in corporate America—deflate women’s motivation to strive for leadership roles? The inquiry is guided by social cognitive career theory (SCCT), which is a vocational psychology theory founded on the expectancy-value model of motivation.
  9. What is the role of leader identity for individuals in specific groups (i.e., new leaders, global leaders, African American leaders) and how does it develop?