Traits and time in leadership emergence: A longitudinal study

Yuval Kalish, Gil Luria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We extend Implicit Leadership Theory, which addresses criteria that individuals use to identify leaders, by examining whether the predictors of leadership emergence change over time. Building on leader-distance research, we predict that time influences the traits on which individuals base their selection of others as leaders: Initially, before individuals have had many opportunities to interact, and distance between them is high, they select leaders according to easily-noticeable physical and psychological traits; however, with time, as distance decreases, they rely on more covert psychological traits. We carried out a three-day field study in an intensive workshop for individuals entering an executive-MBA program (n = 64). Data were gathered from participants at four points in time. We found that the criteria by which people nominate leaders change over time from easily-noticeable traits (facial attractiveness, gender, extraversion) to more covert personality traits (conscientiousness).

Original languageEnglish
Article number101443
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Conscientiousness
  • Emergent leadership
  • Extraversion
  • Facial attractiveness
  • Gender
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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