Date of Award
Master of Science in Space Systems
Department of Systems Engineering and Management
Kent C. Halverson, PhD
The labors of organizational and behavioral science researchers have resulted in a literature robust in the study of leadership and social networks. Empirical examination of both topics has shown significant organizational outcomes, but breadth is lacking both within and between the disciplines. Studies of leadership have seen the preponderance of the effort focused on formal leaders, while most social network studies examine only one informal structure. Moreover, there exists a paucity of studies, which have sought to examine the interrelationships between leadership and social networks. In an effort to address these voids, this thesis investigated: 1) The concurrent existence of multiple social networks, 2) How leaders, both formal and informal, are positioned within the networks, 3) How leader positions in the network change over time, 4) How network positioning affects group members' perceptions of formal leader performance, and 5) How a member's position in the network relates to peer selection as an informal leader. The Expressive-Instrumental Leadership Model, based on behavioral science theory and past empirical studies, was proposed as a means of investigation. A population of 431 military students and instructors was surveyed seven times over a period of eight weeks to gather longitudinally-based social networks data. Additionally, both instructors and students were peer-rated on their leadership performance. The results were statistically analyzed and compared to outcomes predicted by the model. The results showed partial support for the proposed model as three of six hypotheses were supported. Partial support was found for remaining hypotheses, with unique environmental factors possible impacting study results. The author proposed further study of the model to gain additional insight.
DTIC Accession Number
Stratton, Mitchell D., "Leadership in Groups: Social Networks and Perceptions of Formal and Informal Leaders" (2006). Theses and Dissertations. 3420.