Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 167–174 | Cite as

Implicit motives and leadership performance revisited: What constitutes the leadership motive pattern?

  • Barbara SteinmannEmail author
  • Stefan L. Dörr
  • Oliver C. Schultheiss
  • Günter W. Maier
Original Paper


Previous research suggests that a combination of high need for power, low need for affiliation, and high activity inhibition—the so-called leadership motive pattern—is related to high leader effectiveness. However, when studying this relation, research has mainly relied on a typological approach based on dichotomous configurations of motives instead of using a dimensional approach via regression analysis with interaction terms. Applying the latter approach, we explored separate and interactive effects of need for power, need for affiliation, and activity inhibition on managerial performance. We administered picture story exercises to 70 managers, and found the three-way interaction between predictors to account for increases in income and team goal attainment. Follow-up analyses indicated that managers are most successful when they are high in all three predictors.


Need for affiliation Need for power Activity inhibition Leadership motive pattern Leadership performance 



The present data was collected as part of the dissertation of the second author. We thank Clemens Schmitt for his assistance in coding the picture story exercises.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Steinmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan L. Dörr
    • 2
  • Oliver C. Schultheiss
    • 3
  • Günter W. Maier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Work and Organizational PsychologyBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.A47 ConsultingMunichGermany
  3. 3.Chair for Experimental Psychology, Motivation, and Affective Neuroscience, Institute of PsychologyFriedrich-Alexander UniversityErlangenGermany

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