Emergent leadership : the function of personality and cognitive ability in determining team performance, KSAs, and satisfaction
Kickul, Jill R.
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This study investigated the theoretical underpinnings of individual differences in emergent leadership and their relationships to teamwork processes and outcomes. Both personality and cognitive ability were utilized to examine leadership emergence, team performance, KSAs, and member satisfaction. Three hundred and twenty undergraduate psychology students completed personality and cognitive ability tests and then formed sixty-seven mixed-gender teams. Upon their participation in a group simulation, members rated each other on emergent leadership as well as their team on specific interpersonal and self-management KSAs. Team members also indicated their overall satisfaction with the decision-making activity, communication capabilities, and leadership contributions in finalizing their judgments during the simulation. Results revealed that extroversion, openness to experience, and cognitive ability were predictive of emergent leadership. Conscientiousness and cognitive ability were associated with team performance while extroversion was related to the satisfaction measures of decision making and communication. Altogether, personality traits augmented cognitive ability in predicting both of these satisfaction measures.