Who emerges as a leader? Meta-analyses of individual differences as predictors of leadership emergence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


For more than sixty years, the leaderless group discussion (LGD) has been commonly used to assess leadership emergence and potential. This research focuses on individual differences as predictors of leader emergence in LGDs. Meta-analytic methods allowed us to combine and compare results from 45 studies, producing 196 effect sizes, and make statistically guided decisions about the strength of relationships between individual difference and personality variables and leadership emergence in LGDs. Consistent with more general research on leader emergence and effectiveness, we found a number of individual differences predictive of leader emergence in LGDs, most notably extraversion and authoritarian personality. This research augments previous meta-analytic research on personality and leadership with a focus specifically on the leaderless group discussion. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-536
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011


  • Meta-analyses, Individual differences, Leader emergence, Leadership