Inspiration is often treated as a follower outcome in leadership research and scholarship. For example, transformational leaders inspire followers by articulating a vision (Bass & Riggio, 2006). But what about a leader’s inspiration? Are leaders inspired by anything? Are they inspired to do anything? There has been no research to the authors’ knowledge that explores inspiration within leaders. Leadership scholars (Bass & Bass, 2009; Northouse, 2018) have described a dichotomy between leader types: formal/assigned leaders (influences others through power bestowed through position or title) versus informal/emergent leaders (influences others through one’s own personal characteristics and the esteem afforded by others). The purpose of this exploratory study is to compare levels of inspiration among formal/assigned leaders, informal/emergent leaders, and non-leaders.
Participants will be invited using Amazon Mturk. A nonexperimental survey design using the validated Inspiration Scale (Thrash & Eliot, 2003, 2004) to measure the frequency and intensity to which participants are inspired by and inspired to. Leader typologies—assigned, emergent—and non-leaders will be captured using the Leadership Resume (Reichard et al., 2011) which asks participants to report their leadership duties and positions both at work and outside of work. Data will be analyzed using one-way ANOVA.