Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jay Conger

Reader 2

Rebecca Reichard

Rights Information

© 2015 Alexander J. Chang


Leader self-development, as an approach to leader development, is defined as autonomous, self-regulated behaviors focused on developing one’s leadership capacities. Leader development, as a function, is purposeful engagement in the development of human capital, often in the form of formal training programs or on-the-job assignments. It has been theorized that leaders can only learn from such structured investments if they are motivated to self-develop as leaders. For this reason, self-development is a foundational element of leadership development in general. Previous research has found that certain leader characteristics such as feedback seeking, achievement seeking and mastery orientation predict an individual’s motivation for self-development. The current study examines whether matched perceived group-norms interact with leader characteristics to impact motivation to self-develop. 134 male and 33 female leaders who manage people within structured organizations completed an online self-report survey to assess participants’ leader characteristics, perceived group norms and motivation to self-develop. Results replicated previous research using a new sample, thus establishing the importance of leader characteristics of feedback seeking, achievement seeking, and mastery orientation in predicting motivation to self-development. Although results failed to support the predicted interactions between leader characteristics and matched group level norms, for the first time, group level norms of goal-setting and learning were found to have a direct effect on motivation to self-develop. Implications of increased leader self-development under specific, advantageous group norms are discussed.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.