The sources of leader violence: A comparison of ideological and non-ideological leaders

Michael D. Mumford, Jazmine Espejo, Samuel Todd Hunter, Katrina E. Bedell-Avers, Dawn L. Eubanks, Shane Connelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Recent events have called attention to the potential of ideological leaders to incite violence. The present study examined 80 historically notable leaders. Violent and non-violent leaders were compared to violent and non-violent ideological leaders in a historiometric analysis examining individual, group, organization, and environmental variables that might predispose ideological leaders to violence. When criteria examining different manifestations of violence were regressed on the discriminant function scores resulting from this comparison of leader types, it was found that attributes of ideological leadership influenced the amount of violence, and the occurrence of institutional and cultural violence - accounting for variance in institutional and cultural violence above and beyond characteristics of leaders, in general, found to contribute to violence. The implications of these observations for understanding the sources of leader violence and the origins of violence among ideological leaders are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-235
Number of pages19
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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