Attachment and leadership: review and new insights

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Attachment theory has inspired a new view on the topic of leadership, enabling a better understanding of leader–follower relations by acknowledging how attachment dynamics and the evolutionary foundations of human relationships apply in organizational contexts. Early research mainly focused on individual differences and demonstrated the association between attachment orientations (security, anxiety, and avoidance) the emergence of leaders and their behaviors (i.e., leadership style). More recent research has focused on the attachment orientations of both leaders and followers, the role of moderating and mediating variables, and the provision of secure-base support and caring orientations of leaders. However, recent research on ‘followership’ highlights the centrality of leader competence and followers’ capacity to identify, and willingness to follow, leaders who demonstrate this quality. We analyze the significance of competence in the context of attachment and leadership and suggest a new Care and Competence Model based on evolutionary claims.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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