Emotion and attribution of intentionality in leader-member relationships

Marie T. Dasborough, Neal M. Ashkanasy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

326 Scopus citations


In this article, we present a model of emotions and attributions of intentionality within the leader-member relationship. The model is predicated on two central ideas. The first is that leadership is intrinsically an emotional process, where leaders display emotion and attempt to evoke emotion in their members. The second is that leadership is a process of social interaction and is therefore appropriately defined in terms of social, psychological theories such as the attribution theory. Our focus is on the perspective of members, not the leaders. Specifically, members' attributions about their leader's intentions influence how the members evaluate, interpret, and eventually label the leader's influence attempts as either "true" or "pseudo" transformational leadership. These attributions are determined by and themselves influence the members' emotions. We describe each of the elements of the model and conclude with a discussion of the implications of the model for theory, research, and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-634
Number of pages20
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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