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Agentic leadership efficacy: Test of a new construct and model for development and performance

Sean T Hannah, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Agentic Leadership Efficacy (ALE) offers a new theoretical framework to address what constitutes leader emergence, engagement, and performance. ALE advances leadership development theory by addressing how leaders' self-schema adapt over time as part of the overall leader development process, and in defining the relation of those cognitive processes and frameworks to enhanced leader performance. ^ ALE is inclusive of elements of both self and means-efficacy and is defined as a leader's appropriation of his or her role and environment (agency), and the self-schematic efficacy beliefs (confidence) in his or her perceived leadership capabilities to organize the positive psychological capabilities, motivation, means and courses of action required to attain effective, sustainable performance across a specific leadership domain. ^ This study offers many practical implications for leadership development and performance. The nomological network of ALE was tested over a 38 week experimental design. Among other findings, results showed that ALE is malleable and can be developed through targeted leadership development. ALE can be measured in three distinct dimensions; specifically, agentic leadership efficacy for thought and self-motivation, action, and means. Leaders also have differing levels of efficacy for transactional and transformational leadership behaviors across those three domains. We established that specific domains of a leader's efficacy beliefs can be targeted and developed and that those areas of increased efficacy will in turn manifest in greater frequency of behaviors corresponding to those targeted domains. Levels of ALE were found to predict levels of leader motivation and also both transformational and transactional leadership behaviors. Transformational leadership behaviors in turn mediated the linkage between leadership efficacy and various leadership performance measures. ^ We also proposed a new construct called developmental readiness , and demonstrated that the three dimensions of meta-cognitive ability, self-concept clarity, and learning goal orientation have significant impacts on initial levels ALE and also on the propensity and ability for further development of ALE. We hold that these facets of developmental readiness will impact any leader development program. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management|Psychology, Industrial

Recommended Citation

Hannah, Sean T, "Agentic leadership efficacy: Test of a new construct and model for development and performance" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3208108.