Self-uncertainty and support for autocratic leadership

DE Rast, MA Hogg, Steffen Giessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Building on uncertainty-identity theory and the social identity theory of leadership we hypothesized that self-uncertainty would be associated with greater support for autocratic leaders, and less support for non-autocratic leaders. We surveyed organizational employees (N ¼ 215); assessing the effect of self-uncertainty and how autocratic they perceived their organizational leader to be on measures of leader support. As predicted, less self-uncertain participants were more supportive of a non-autocratic than autocratic leader, whereas the opposite was the case for more self-uncertain participants—they were more supportive of an autocratic than non-autocratic leader. The effect was mediated by perceived group prototypicality of the leader. Implications for uncertainty-identity theory and for a wider analysis of the role of uncertainty in leadership are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-649
Number of pages15
JournalSelf and Identity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2012


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