Resetting the clock on dynamic leader behaviors: A conceptual integration and agenda for future research

July 2019 | ,

Throughout its storied history, the leadership literature has predominantly treated leader behaviors as static and owing to stable antecedents such as personality traits and organizational norms. In recent years, however, this assumption has been challenged as researchers have acknowledged that leader behaviors are more dynamic than previously thought. To clarify and broaden this literature, we review and synthesize published works focused on dynamic leader behaviors. In so doing, we identify three distinct conceptualizations of time and change in the leader behavior literature: shift (i.e., discontinuous, unidirectional change), growth and decay (i.e., unidirectional evolution over time), and ebb and flow (i.e., fluid, potentially nonlinear). We distill the conceptualization behind each of these approaches and synthesize the conceptual and empirical content of the literature within each approach. In the process, we also highlight several challenges and opportunities for research in this area. Moreover, we propose a new, integrative temporal framework meant to not only provide a richer view of dynamism but also guide future dynamic leader behavior research.



  • Shawn McClean
  • Christopher Barnes
  • Russell Johnson


Academy of Management Annals