Perceptions of leadership success from nonverbal cues communicated by orchestra conductors

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Perceptions of leadership success from nonverbal cues communicated by orchestra conductors
The Leadership Quarterly

Research has suggested that people can extract information relevant to leadership from thin slices of behavior. Nearly all of this research has been conducted in the context of large organizations where the relationships between leaders and followers are relatively indirect however. We therefore examined here whether participants could extract similar information about leadership success from contexts with direct leader–follower interactions: conductors of orchestras. We found that perceivers could accurately discern conductors' success from brief video clips and that perceptions of expressiveness and age formed the basis for this accuracy. Thus the current work demonstrates that leadership success is perceptible from nonverbal cues not only for the leaders of large organizations but also in the context of groups where leaders and followers must continually and dynamically interact to produce successful outcomes.

Citation: 
The Leadership Quarterly 25 (2014) 901 – 911

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