A historiometric analysis of leadership in mission critical multiteam environments

Leslie A. DeChurch*, C. Shawn Burke, Marissa L. Shuffler, Rebecca Lyons, Daniel Doty, Eduardo Salas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Perhaps nowhere are leaders more pivotal than in the extreme contexts of responding to the aftermath of natural disasters or orchestrating post-war stability, support, transition, and reconstruction efforts. In the current study, historiometric methods were employed in order to elucidate the aspects of leadership essential in these extreme contexts. These contexts were chosen for two reasons: (1) they capture the external networking required of many complex organizational tasks and (2) they are mission critical - the outcomes of leadership in these contexts are of great importance. One hundred and ten critical incidents were written describing instances of effective and ineffective interaction within these systems, and 55 of them were classified as primarily describing leadership issues. Critical incidents were then sorted, translated, and retranslated in order to inductively derive a set of leader functions essential for orchestrating effort in mission critical multiteam contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-169
Number of pages18
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Functional leadership
  • Historiometric
  • Leadership
  • Multiteam systems
  • Pragmatic leadership
  • Team effectiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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