The purpose of the research reported here is to determine whether or not a function-based perspective on leadership is a viable training approach for changing the way individuals think about and enact leadership activities. Two studies were conducted using 192 students enrolled in two leadership classes. Using a pretest-posttest study design, with a cohort group, we asked four questions: (a) after a ten week class, will the level of importance assigned to critical leadership functions increase and will the subjects feel greater confidence in their abilities to accomplish those functions?; (b) after taking the class, will subjects focus more on group leadership and specific functional acts when analyzing leadership by others?; (c) when meeting in their own groups, will the overall number of functional leadership contributions by the subjects increase; and, (d) will the use of leadership behaviors by the assigned leaders and the rest of the group converge? Overall, we found that the subjects' confidence in fulfilling critical leadership functions increased, that they focused more on group leadership and functional concepts when analyzing group leadership, and that procedural remarks made by nominal leaders and the other group members converged over time.
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