Honors Theses


Paul D. Sweeney


Management and Marketing

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Honors Thesis


Leadership is among the most important research topics across a number of areas for years now - and it shows no sign of waning. A recent search of “leadership” on Amazon, for instance, returned over 70,000 active titles. One reason for this continued popularity is that leadership is a key component of most any effective organization. Most empirical research has centered on features about the leader him/herself (the “great person” approach). An increasingly important trend has looked at the impact of followers in the practice of leadership. A number of studies have emerged now that look at follower’s perceptions and preferences for various types of leaders. In my thesis, I conduct and present results of a quantitative, meta-analytic review of over 150 studies the relationship between follower characteristics and ratings of leadership style. By converting each studies’ results to a common metric, my review can permit more reliable conclusions about follower effects in various organizations. The results showed sizeable relationships between follower personal, interpersonal, and behavioral reactions to various leadership styles. This review serves as a summary of the literature as well as a guide for further work in this area.

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Undergraduate research