What Makes a Good Leader? Evaluating the Connections between Appraisal Style and Leadership Behaviors
The success of leaders can be highly variable and depends on a number of factors including the degree to which leaders engage with their subordinates. This continuum of passive and active behavior is represented in the distinctions between laissez-faire, transactional, and transformational leadership. Past studies have found that the individuals with a more transformational leadership style are not only better performers, but also increase the satisfaction of their subordinates. In trying to understand why some people adopt this style of leadership, the leader’s emotions and emotional tendencies could play a large role, because emotions affect both individual and social behavior. This study evaluated possible relationships by analyzing the connections between appraisal style and leadership style. Previous research has demonstrated that individuals who are more optimistic and have more hope are more likely to have a transformational leadership style, as such this study expected to find connections between a hopeful appraisal style and a transformational leadership style. This study was conducted using online surveys and data was collected from 86 undergraduate students. The results do indicate a connection between motivational relevance and leadership style, but overall the results provide inconclusive evidence for a specific connection between appraisal style and leadership style. Future directions for further research are provided.