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Drawing on the social-cognitive and motivational literature of leadership, the present study examines the influence of young adults' self-perceptions of leadership on their leadership self-efficacy (LSE) and motivation to lead (MTL) in their future career. The authors further examine gender and socio-economic status (SES) as important moderators of the proposed relationships.Design/methodology/approachThe present investigation consists of a two-study research design, based on data collected from young adult samples across two culturally different countries, namely the UK (N = 267) and Japan (N = 127).FindingsThe study presents evidence of self-perceptions of leadership influencing LSE and MTL. The results further support the mediating role of leader self-efficacy. Regarding the moderating role of gender, results in both samples showed that the effects of leader self-efficacy on MTL were stronger for males. SES was found to moderate the effects of leadership self-perceptions of negative implicit leadership theories (ILTs) on LSE in the UK sample and the effects of leadership self-perceptions of positive ILTs on LSE in the Japanese sample.Originality/valueThis study fills the gap of empirical research focused on early adulthood influences on leadership development. In particular, this study has a three-fold contribution, by, firstly, developing a conceptual model that examines the role of young adults' self-perceptions of leadership on their self-efficacy as leaders and MTL; secondly examining contingencies of the proposed relationships; and thirdly testing the conceptual model in two countries.
Leadership & Organization Development Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 19, 2021
Keywords: Young adults; Implicit leadership theories; Leadership self-efficacy; Motivation to lead; Gender; Socio-economic status
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