Date of Award

Summer 7-20-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Paul R Yost

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Lynette H Bikos

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Robert E Lewis


Introversion, Core Self-Evaluation, Implicit Leadership Theory, Learning Goal Orientation, Behavioral Approach System, Talent Development


Leaders across the introversion/extraversion (I/E) spectrum may comparatively view themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to developing effective developmental relationships with their direct reports. This study investigated how a leader’s I/E typology, the number of direct reports (NoDR), and learning goal orientation (LGO) were related to their core self-evaluation (CSE) rating of their talent development role, through the lens of implicit leadership theory. An online survey was administered to 146 U.S. leaders (50% female) with an average age of 40 (SD = 11.5) who self-reported they had at least one direct report. The first hypothesis, that leaders would report higher CSE at low NoDR if introverted, and at high levels if extraverted, with a curvilinear effect at the highest levels, was not supported in either the linear analysis [R2 = .06, ΔF(1,142) = 1.97, p = .16] or the curvilinear analysis [R2 = .07, ΔF(1,140) = 1.37, p = .25]. The second hypothesis posited that learning goal orientation (LGO) would buffer the proposed interaction between I/E and NoDR, such that stronger LGO would result in elevated CSE ratings across all levels of NoDR; again, a curvilinear effect was expected. Hypothesis two was partially supported. Results indicated that LGO significantly moderated this relationship [R2 = .15, ΔF(1,138) = 7.36, p = .008], but a curvilinear relationship was not sufficiently detected [R2 = .18, ΔF(1,134) = 3.79, p = .054]. Introverts reported higher mean CSE scores than extraverts when LGO was weak, while the reverse relationship was found when LGO was strong, suggesting that both typologies interact with their environments in different ways. The approach/avoidance framework was suggested as a possible theoretical framework to explain these variations in motivation that leaders experience when developing their direct reports. Results indicated that extraverts tend to report higher CSE across most LGO scores, which may influence practical implications for organizational outcomes for which CSE is an antecedent. Future research might examine how leadership positions (e.g., senior, mid-level, first level) impact CSE within this same context.

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