U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



The Leadership Quarterly 25, 2014


U.S. Government work


Many of the prevailing approaches to understanding leadership assume that leadership operates as an individual-level phenomenon, inwhich one person takes on the role of a leader. However, a number of recently developed leadership models now describe leadership as a shared process. These collectivistic theories present leadership as a dynamic process in which a leader may selectively utilize the skills of followers and distribute elements of the leadership role among these followers as the situation demands. In this study, we conduct an investigation into the viability of core elements of the collectivistic theories through a historiometric analysis of events from the career of a notable leader, George C. Marshall. One hundred and two events from Marshall's career were identified from historical biographies and were then content coded and analyzed with regard to the components of a collectivistic leadership model. The results of this historiometric analysis indicated that there are key antecedents to collectivistic leadership and that the use of this form of leadership can result in positive team outcomes.