Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Implicit leadership theories: Think leader, think effective?

Schyns, B.; Schilling, J.

Implicit leadership theories: Think leader, think effective? Thumbnail


J. Schilling


In general, although research into leadership acknowledges negative aspects of leadership, research into implicit leadership theories lags behind in this respect. Most implicit leadership theories research implies that the image of a leader in general reflects an effective leader. However, recent results in leadership research as well as headlines and reports in the popular press cast doubt on this assumption. This article reports a qualitative study, focusing on general implicit leadership theories rather than effective images of leaders. The analysis of 349 statements results in 15 categories that describe leaders in general. The results imply that implicit leadership theories are composed of both effective and ineffective attributes. The study challenges previous assumptions on the effectiveness implied in implicit leadership theories.


Schyns, B., & Schilling, J. (2011). Implicit leadership theories: Think leader, think effective?. Journal of Management Inquiry, 20(2), 141-150.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2011
Deposit Date Nov 23, 2010
Publicly Available Date Jun 1, 2012
Journal Journal of Management Inquiry
Print ISSN 1056-4926
Electronic ISSN 1552-6542
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 2
Pages 141-150
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (182 Kb)

Copyright Statement
The final definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal Journal of management inquiry 20/2 2011 © Author(s) 2011 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Journal of management inquiry page: on SAGE Journals Online:

You might also like

Downloadable Citations