Leadership across levels: Levels of leaders and their levels of impact

Leslie A. Dechurch*, Nathan J. Hiller, Toshio Murase, Daniel Doty, Eduardo Salas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


This article assesses 25. years of empirical leadership research in 11 top journals with the goal of understanding current practice and future needs for drawing solid conclusions about leadership at different hierarchical levels of the organization, as well as leadership's effects on individuals, teams, units and organizations. We summarize the hierarchical level of leader and outcome level of analysis studied in different theoretical perspectives on leadership (traits, behavioral, transformational, LMX, strategic, shared) and by journal outlet. Among our findings, we observe that significantly less attention has been devoted to team- and unit-level emergent processes and outcomes, despite its conceptual relevance for leadership theory and practice. Four critical opportunities for advancing leadership science are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1085
Number of pages17
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergent process
  • LMX
  • Leadership
  • Levels of analysis
  • Strategic management
  • Team
  • Transformational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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