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The Origins of Task- and People-Oriented Leadership Styles Remains From Early Attachment Security and Influences During Childhood and Adolescence

Journal article
Authors Bertil Engelbert
Lars Göran Wallgren
Published in Sage Open
Volume 6
Issue 2
Pages 19
ISSN 2158-2440
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 19
Language en
Keywords leadership, task-oriented, management, attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety
Subject categories Applied Psychology


An increasing number of findings indicate that there are connections between leadership and infant, child, and adolescent development. These connections are largely overlooked in the traditional leadership literature. This study discussed this development with a focus on how it influences the task-oriented part of leadership. For the empirical part of the study, which had an exploratory emphasis, data on 79 leaders were collected, including information on their childhood, collected with a self-report survey (Experiences in Close Relationships [ECR]), their adolescent family experiences, and their leadership styles (Employee-centered, Production-centered, and Change-centered) measured with a survey answered by a subordinate. The results indicated connections between task-oriented leadership style and early experiences: Insecurely attached leaders are at risk of not being considered good leaders by their subordinates. Experiences during adolescence may be influential. This study indicated reasons why it often is difficult to predict who will become a good leader. To accurately characterize a leader, early established features need to be considered. This knowledge can be used to build better models for leadership research and to improve the recruitment and development of leaders

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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