Leading When the Boss is Present: How Leadership Structure Schemas Affect Leadership Behavior

Ned Wellman, Susan J. Ashford, Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, D. Scott DeRue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We examine how leadership structure schemas (LSS) – mental models of how leadership is most effectively structured in groups – interact with formal authority to influence individuals’ leadership behavior and perceptions of others who lead. Across two experiments and a field study, we find that for individuals without formal authority, holding a more shared LSS (relative to a more hierarchical LSS) is positively associated with leadership behavior. However, this effect reverses for individuals in authority positions. Additionally, individuals who engage in leadership behavior are seen as higher in interpersonal warmth by observers who hold a more shared rather than a more hierarchical LSS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-269
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Leadership and Organizational Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • cognitive processes
  • leadership and individual differences
  • leadership behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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