On Avoiding the Influence of Implicit Leadership Theories in Leader Behavior Descriptions

Dennis A. Gioia, Henry P. Sims

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Previous research has shown that questionnaire measures of leader behavior can be susceptible to response bias stemming from individual “implicit leadership theories.” The research reported here extended this work by exploring the impact of implicit theories in a managerial context, using both an objective leader behavior manipulation and a leader performance cue manipulation. The findings confirmed that the popular measure initiating structure as measured by the LBDQ, was indeed responsive to the performance cue manipulation in a manner consistent with previous implicit leadership theory research. However, results from more “behaviorally oriented” measures were not significantly responsive to the performance cue manipulation, but were shown to be very good representations of actual leader behaviors. The discussion focused on how researchers might reduce the bias stemming from implicit leadership theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-232
Number of pages16
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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