Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Business Administration

First Advisor

Colbert, Amy E

First Committee Member

Brown, Kenneth G

Second Committee Member

Li, Ning

Third Committee Member

Rynes, Sara L

Fourth Committee Member

Stewart, Greg L


Influence is the "ability to get others to do something they might not otherwise do" (Mowday, 1978, p. 146), and a literature has developed over the past three decades around proactive interpersonal influence tactics. Given (1) the importance of influence to all in society, (2) the significant gaps that exist in the literature on proactive influence tactics, (3) the empirical and theoretical acknowledgement of the pivotal role that contextual forces (i.e., precedent and history) can exert on organizational phenomena, and (4) the prevailing workforce and workplace trends that have highlighted the need to study this topic, the purpose of this dissertation is to examine how precedent impacts leaders, subordinates, and the proactive influence tactics that are employed across performance episodes and leadership successions in teams.

In the leadership literature, complexity leadership theory (Uhl-Bien, Marion, & McKelvey, 2007) has identified the importance of contextual forces (i.e., history) on leadership processes. Similarly, in the teams literature, Ilgen, Hollenbeck, Johnson, & Jundt (2005) have outlined the IMOI framework of teams, which accounts for the non-linearity by which teams' inputs, processes/mediators, and outcomes can influence other future team stages across performance episodes. However, although both the leadership and teams literatures have recognized the importance of contextual forces, the difficulty in studying such factors has left these nascent theoretical perspectives under-explored, particularly in the literature on proactive influence tactics. Thus, this study represents an important undertaking because studying influence in teams without accounting for contextual forces limits our understanding of within-team phenomena. In particular, it is important to consider past precedent within an entity when trying to predict future individual-level behavior, influence processes, and outcomes within that entity.

In proposing to demonstrate the impact of contextual forces on individuals and teams, I explore how a leader's use of influence tactics during an initial performance episode within a team impacts a subsequent leader's use of influence tactics during a subsequent performance episode within the team. Further, I explore boundary conditions for that relationship (e.g., prior team performance and team member individual differences). In addition, I study how the relationship between a leader's influence tactic use and subordinates' commitment to do what is asked of them is moderated by factors that stem from previous performance episodes within the respective team (e.g., prior role composition and subordinate perceptions of the current leader's effectiveness relative to the effectiveness of his or her predecessor).

In order to study the dynamics of proactive influence in light of team precedent, I study project teams characterized by leadership successions that take place over time during a series of performance episodes. The series of hypotheses I have generated is tested in a multi-level moderated mediation research model using Mplus.


contextual leadership, influence tactics, leadership, precedent, succession, teams


ix, 136 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 123-136).


Copyright © 2014 Brian William McCormick