Possible selves in the lives of transformational faith community leaders

John J. Sosik, Jae Uk Chun, Anthony L. Blair, Natalie A. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the association of 184 Christian faith community leaders' self-reports of transformational leadership with the number and content of their hoped-for and feared possible selves. Possible selves were coded into life domains reflecting growth, relatedness, and existence needs (C. P. Alderfer, 1972, Existence, Relatedness, and Growth: Human Needs in Organizational Settings, New York, Free Press.). Results of mixed-design MANCOVA indicated that leaders who displayed higher levels of transformational leadership reported more hoped-for possible selves reflecting relatedness needs than leaders who displayed lower levels of transformational leadership. Results also indicated (a) more hoped-for possible selves reflecting growth needs than those reflecting relatedness and existence needs, and (b) more feared possible selves reflecting existence needs than those reflecting growth or relatedness needs, for leaders displaying either low or high levels of transformational leadership. The findings are discussed in terms of how leaders' identities and needs motivate transformational leadership behavior, and how leadership training may be improved by encouraging participants to reflect upon their possible selves and transformational leadership behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-293
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Religion and Spirituality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Religious studies
  • Applied Psychology


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