Developmental stability and leadership effectiveness

This is a member only resource

Become a Member » Log In »
Developmental stability and leadership effectiveness
The Leadership Quarterly

Developmental stability is the degree to which we can withstand environmental or genetic stressors during development. Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) concerns the extent to which the right and left side of the body is asymmetrical and is one way to measure developmental stability. Two studies were carried out that examined both the predictive value of leader FA with leadership behaviors and its role in facilitating group performance. The first study examined the hypothesis that a leader's FA is correlated with scores on the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). The results revealed individuals with a more asymmetrical morphology scored higher on the transformational but not transactional dimensions of leadership behavior. A second study examined the hypothesis that asymmetrical morphology and leadership effectiveness would share a positive relationship. In this study participants who led a business game exercise revealed a positive relationship between FA and self-reported well-being and task satisfaction. Importantly there was also a positive correlation between the leader's FA score and group performance. The role that developmental stability may play in leadership effectiveness is discussed in the wider context of evolutionary psychology.



The Leadership Quarterly Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 281–291

Become a Member

The IOC is a global community of coaches.


Contact Us

  • Institute of Coaching
  • McLean Hospital
  • 115 Mill Street, Mail Stop 314
  • Belmont, MA 02478
  • Phone: 617-767-2670
  • [email protected]