New leader assimilation: Process and outcomes

Steven V. Manderscheid, Alexandre Ardichvili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose - This study seeks to test the researchers' theory that a leadership development intervention called "leader assimilation" for newly appointed leaders and their subordinates will facilitate feedback-seeking and a leader-team dialogue which will accelerate leader/team learning, leader adaptation, and relationship building between the new leaders and their teams. Design/methodology/approach - Robert Yin's positivistic multiple case study research method was used. Four primary modes of data collection were used in each of the three cases: observation during the five steps of the intervention, documentation review after the intervention, a pre- and post-survey, and individual interviews with the leader and the leader's direct reports approximately seven days after the last phase of the intervention. Findings - The researchers found support for their theory from a leader and team perspective. The three leaders in the study experienced accelerated learning, adaptation, and they built relationships with their teams. The leaders' teams experienced new learning and they built relationships with their new leaders. Research limitations/implications- The generalizability of findings is limited by the number of cases studied and by industry, leader, and team variation across cases. Practical implications - The study provides supporting evidence for the importance and effectiveness of leader assimilations in helping new leaders learn, adapt quickly, and build relationships with their teams early in their transition. Originality/value - The study is one of the first to report on the outcomes of an early leadership development intervention to help new leaders transition from one leadership role to another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-677
Number of pages17
JournalLeadership and Organization Development Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 13 2008


  • Leadership
  • Transition management
  • United States of America


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