Leading teams over time through space: Computational experiments on leadership network archetypes

Alina Lungeanu*, Leslie A. DeChurch, Noshir S. Contractor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A key function of team leadership is building and sustaining shared mental models. Topological approaches to leadership identify structural patterns, such as decentralized and shared leadership that empower members to collectively lead themselves toward important goals, but an open question is the particular form of leadership that best promotes team mental models. We explored 8 leadership archetypes using a computational model fit on data from a unique sample of NASA analog space crews. Data from 4, 4-member crews living and working together for 45-days were used to parameterize the model which then accurately predicted mental models for the next set of 4-member crews. The validated model was used to conduct virtual experiments exploring the effects of leadership structures on mental models. We found shared leadership has the largest effect on shared mental models, followed by hierarchical and coordinated leadership. These findings extend shared leadership theory leveraging computational methods to examine leadership archetypes and suggest propositions about how they shape team functioning over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101595
JournalLeadership Quarterly
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Leadership networks
  • Shared leadership
  • Team mental models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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