Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Here's Your Sign: The Use of Signals in Impacting Social Categorizations and Resulting Emergent Leadership

Andrew A Hanna, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Recent research has greatly expanded our understanding of the element of emergent leadership (i.e., being perceived as “leaderlike,” despite a lack of formal status or authority), exploring a number of individual behaviors thought to impact team members’ perceptions of others as leaderlike. While attention to how individuals’ natural behaviors (i.e., behaviors innate to individuals) influence these emergent leadership perceptions has grown, questions regarding the impact of intentional behaviors remain. In this research, I address this gap by providing a link between signaling and social categorization theories to show how intended behaviors act as signals of attributes associated with effective leaders. To better understand the effects of attempts to influence others’ perceptions on leader emergence, I examine how different impression management tactics spark varying effects on these resulting perceptions. Further, I explore perceptions of trustworthiness as a mediating mechanism, the moderating effect of authenticity on the impression management-trustworthiness relationship, and the role of motivation to lead in the trustworthiness-emergent leadership relationship. Implementing two complementary empirical studies, I provide initial insight into these aforementioned relationships and end by discussing the implications of my findings for future research.

Subject Area

Management|Psychology|Sociology|Social psychology|Communication

Recommended Citation

Hanna, Andrew A, "Here's Your Sign: The Use of Signals in Impacting Social Categorizations and Resulting Emergent Leadership" (2021). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI28543343.