Thesis Title

Effects of Leadership Self-Efficacy on Goal Structures

Date of Graduation

Spring 2004


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Thomas Kane


Researchers who recognize the complexity of the leader's role have increasingly examined the leader's cognitive processes relevant to understanding complex social and task situations. The bulk of traditional leadership research and theory, however, has described the leader as one who facilitates the group's strategic process, but has focused less frequently on the leader's own cognitive processes. Bandura (1997) argued that people possess goal structures comprised of distal and proximal goals that represent both meaningful objectives to be attained and a "road map" for attaining those objectives. Social cognitive theories argue that the nature and quality of such structures have important consequences for analytic planning and effort. This study applies social cognitive theory to leadership processes and examines the nature of the cognitive structures possessed by leaders when confronted with a problem. Based on social cognitive theory and cognitive theories of leadership, leadership self-efficacy was tested as a mediator of social intelligence, intelligence, and previous leadership experience as they impact on the complexity of leaders' goals and strategies.


leadership, self-efficacy, intelligence, social intelligence, previous experience, problem solving, strategies, goals, goal structures

Subject Categories



© Kimberlee M. Kassel