The moderator effect of need for closure on the relations between leader group prototypicality and different aspects of leadership effectiveness (perceived effectiveness, job satisfaction, self-rated performance, and turnover intentions) was examined. Need for closure, reflecting a desire to reduce uncertainty, was proposed to lead people to turn to their group memberships, thus making leadership effectiveness more contingent on the extent to which leaders are group prototypical. This hypothesis was tested in a survey of N =242 employees of 3 Italian companies. Results indicated the expected 2-way interaction between need for closure and leader group prototypicality in predicting leadership effectiveness: the relationship between leader group prototypicality and leadership effectiveness is stronger for high need for closure than for low need for closure employees. The way in which these findings extend the social identity theory of leadership, as well as more applied implications is discussed.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
The Leadership Quarterly
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Pierro, A., Cicero, L., Bonaiuto, M., van Knippenberg, D., & Kruglanski, A. (2005). Leader group prototypicality and leadership effectiveness: The moderating role of need for cognitive closure. The Leadership Quarterly, 16(4), 503–516. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.06.002