Historically, love is not been specifically mentioned within the context of the study of leadership, yet there seems to be some intersection between the two. They seem to have similar roots; strong relationships, trust, integrity, charisma, character, taking care of others, but where exactly is the intersection? Several leadership theories allude to a dimension of leadership and the leader follower relationship that is seemingly unexplainable or unquantifiable.
In his 2004 exploratory study, Joseph Ricciardi ties together the psychology of love and leadership behaviour to potentially change the way we approach the field of leadership, leadership assessment, and leader development. More specifically, he examined love as represented by intimacy, passion, and commitment, and leadership as represented by the common components of the theories contained in the neocharismatic leadership body of literature. These components include character, courage, integrity, selflessness, empathy, collaboration, and reflection. The study is significant because up to this point there has not been any scholarly research published that ties together love and leadership.
The study was conducted by administering an online survey followed by quantitative research/analysis via multiple linear regressions. The results demonstrated that it can be determined that a significant positive correlation exists between the follower’s perceived degree of love displayed (by their leader) and follower’s perceived leadership.
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