Beyond the Daily Catch: Desired Leader Profile in Iceland

  • Inga Minelgaite
  • Svala Guðmundsdóttir
  • Árelía E. Guðmundsdóttir
  • Olga Stangej
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


Scholars and practitioners univocally agree that leadership affects performance and the effectiveness of organizational outcomes (Uhl-Bien et al., Leadersh Q 25(1):83–104, 2014). Interestingly, it was the context of Iceland that emerged in one of the seminal studies confirming the direct relationship between leadership and performance. Through a 3-year analysis of fishing industry and ship performance in particular, Thorlindsson revealed that leadership attributes of different captains could account for 35–49% of the variation in performance (i.e., the catch in this particular case). However, up-to-date discussion on leadership performance has extended beyond the daily catch, and today there is a general consensus that leadership effectiveness depends on the leader’s identity and the extent of the schemes and prototypes that he or she holds matches those of his or her followers. The following chapter is an attempt to formulate the desired leader profiles in Iceland.


Desired leader profile Leadership Follower-centric leadership Iceland 


  1. Antonakis J, Cianciolo AT, Sternberg RJ (2004) Leadership: past, present, and future. In: Antonakis A, Cianciolo T, Sternberg RJ (eds) The nature of leadership. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 3–15Google Scholar
  2. Ärlestig H, Johansson O, Nihlfors E (2016) Sweden: Swedish School Leadership Research – an important but neglected area. In: Ärlestig H, Johansson O, Day C (eds) A decade of research on school principals. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 103–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartoletti J, Connelly G (2013) Leadership matters: what the research says about the importance of principal leadership. National Association of Elementary School Principals, Reston, VA, p 16Google Scholar
  4. Cappelli P, Sherer PD (1991) The missing role of context in OB: the need for a mesolevel approach. Organ Behav 13:55–110Google Scholar
  5. DeRue DS, Ashford SJ (2010) Who will lead and who will follow? A social process of leadership identity construction in organizations. Acad Manage Rev 35(4):627–647Google Scholar
  6. DeRue DS, Ashford SJ, Cotton NC (2009) Assuming the mantle: unpacking the process by which individuals internalize a leader identity. Exploring positive identities and organizations: building a theoretical and research foundation. Taylor & Francis, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Dorfman P, Javidan M, Hanges P, Dastmalchian A, House R (2012) GLOBE: a twenty year journey into the intriguing world of culture and leadership. J World Bus 47(4):504–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eagly AH, Karau SJ (2002) Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychol Rev 109(3):573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Earley PC (1993) Culture, self-identity, and work. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. European Commission (2013) European commission report. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from
  11. Fletcher JK, Bailyn L (2005) The equity imperative: redesigning work for work-family integration. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, MahwahGoogle Scholar
  12. Frederick Littrell R (2013) Explicit leader behaviour: a review of literature, theory development, and research project results. J Manag Dev 32(6):567–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fullan M (2007) Change the terms for teacher learning. Learn Prof 28(3):35Google Scholar
  14. Gilligan C (1982) In a different voice. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  15. Goethals GR, Sorenson GJ (2007) The quest for a general theory of leadership. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  16. Graen GB (1976) Role making processes within complex organizations. In: Dunnette MD (ed) Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology. Rand-McNally, Chicago, pp 1201–1245Google Scholar
  17. Hansen B (2013) Transnational influence and educational policy in Iceland. In: Transnational influences on values and practices in Nordic educational leadership, vol 19, pp 49–60. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hansen B, Lárusdóttir SH (2015) Instructional leadership in compulsory schools in Iceland and the role of school principals. Scand J Educ Res 59(5):583–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hansen B, Jóhannsson ÓH, Lárusdóttir SH (2005) Hvaða þættir ráða mestu um hvernig gengur að innleiða aðferðir við sjálfsmat í grunnskólum?: niðurstöður athugana í sex skólumGoogle Scholar
  20. Hálfdánardóttir A (2014) Aðgengi eða áhugi? Munur á efnistökum og vægi frétta eftir karla og konur (Doctoral dissertation)Google Scholar
  21. Hogg MA (2001) A social identity theory of leadership. Pers Soc Psychol Rev 5(3):184–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hogg MA (2007) Uncertainty–identity theory. Adv Exp Soc Psychol 39:69–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. House RJ, Wright NS, Aditya RN (1997) Cross-cultural research on organizational leadership: a critical analysis and a proposed theory. In: Earley PC, Erez M (eds) New perspectives on international industrial and organizational psychology. Lexington Press, San Francisco, pp 535–625Google Scholar
  24. House RJ, Hanges PJ, Javidan M, Dorfman PW, Gupta V (2004) Culture, leadership, and organizations: the GLOBE study of 62 societies. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  25. Hoy WK, Miskel CG (2008) The school as a social system. In: Educational administration: theory, research, and practice. McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA, pp 1–40Google Scholar
  26. Hunt JG (1991) Leadership: a new synthesis. Sage, Newbury ParkGoogle Scholar
  27. Javidan M, House RJ, Dorfman PW (2004) A nontechnical summary of GLOBE findings. In: House RJ, Hanges PJ, Javidan M, Dorfman PW, Gupta V (eds) Culture, leadership, and organizations: the GLOBE study of 62 societies. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 29–48Google Scholar
  28. Kahn RL, Wolfe DM, Quinn RP, Snoek JD, Rosenthal RA (1964) Organizational stress: studies in role conflict and ambiguity. Wiley, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  29. Lárusdóttir SH (2014) Educational leadership and market values: a study of school principals in Iceland. Educ Manage Admin Leadersh 42(4):83–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lárusdóttir SH, O’Connor E (2017) Distributed leadership and middle leadership practice in schools: a disconnect? Irish Educational Studies 36(4):423–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Littrell RF (2010) Comparative value priorities of Chinese and New Zealand business people and their relationships to preferred managerial leader behaviour. Auckland University of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  32. Littrell RF, Snaebjornsson IM (2016) Comparison of managerial leadership behavior preferences across nationalities, industries, and gender. In: Academy of international business 2016 conference, New Orleans, LAGoogle Scholar
  33. Lord RG, Emrich CG (2000) Thinking outside the box by looking inside the box: extending the cognitive revolution in leadership research. Leadersh Q 11(4):551–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lord RG, Maher KJ (1991) Cognitive theory in industrial and organizational psychology. Handb Ind Organ Psychol 2:1–62Google Scholar
  35. Lord RG, Maher KJ (2002) Leadership and information processing: linking perceptions and performance. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Meindl JR (1995) The romance of leadership as a follower-centric theory: a social constructionist approach. Leadersh Q 6(3):329–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Møller J et al (2007) Successful leadership based on democratic values. In: Day C, Leithwood K (eds) Successful principal leadership in times of change. Studies in educational leadership, vol 5. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  38. Møller J (2009) School leadership in an age of accountability: tensions between managerial and professional accountability. J Educ Change 10(1):37–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2008) PISA 2008 results. Retrieved from
  40. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2016) PISA 2015 key findings for Iceland. Retrieved May 12, 2017, from
  41. Óskarsson E (2015) Nýir stjórnendur á vinnustað í vanda.
  42. Peterson C, Seligman ME (2004) Character strengths and virtues: a handbook and classification. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  43. Peterson D, Rhoads A, Vaught BC (2001) Ethical beliefs of business professionals: a study of gender, age and external factors. J Bus Ethics 31(3):225–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rizzo JR, House RJ, Lirtzman SI (1970) Role conflict and ambiguity in complex organizations. Adm Sci Q:150–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Roxas ML, Stoneback JY (2004) The importance of gender across cultures in ethical decision-making. J Bus Ethics 50(2):149–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schleicher A (2012) Preparing teachers and developing school leaders for the 21st century: lessons from around the world. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  47. Schneider J, Littrell RF (2003) Leadership preferences of German and English managers. J Manage Dev 22(2):130–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shaw JB (1990) A cognitive categorization model for the study of intercultural management. Acad Manage Rev 15(4):626–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Snaebjornsson IM (2016) Ideal leader profiles in the Icelandic business sector: evidence of 352 uniformity of followers’ attitudes. Tímarit um viðskipti og efnahagsmál 13(2):97–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Statistics Iceland (2018a) External migration by sex, age and citizenship 1986–2017.
  51. Stogdill RM (1963) Manual for the leader behaviour description questionnaire-Form XII: an experimental revision. Ohio State University, Bureau of Business Research, College of Commerce and Administration, ColumbusGoogle Scholar
  52. Uhl-Bien M, Riggio RE, Lowe KB, Carsten MK (2014) Followership theory: a review and research agenda. Leadersh Q 25(1):83–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Urboniene L, Kristjánsdóttir ES, Minelgaite I, Littrell RF (2018) The desired managerial leader behavior: leader profile in the education sector in Iceland examined from a follower-centric perspective. SAGE Open 8(2):1–11. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Woolfolk Hoy A, Hoy WK, Davis HA (2009) Teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs. In: Wentzel KR, Wigfield A (eds) Handbook of motivation at school. Routledge, New York, pp 627–653Google Scholar
  55. World Economic Forum (2016) Global Gender Gap Report 2016.
  56. Yukl GA (2013) Leadership in organizations. Pearson Education, HarlowGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inga Minelgaite
    • 1
  • Svala Guðmundsdóttir
    • 1
  • Árelía E. Guðmundsdóttir
    • 1
  • Olga Stangej
    • 2
  1. 1.University of IcelandReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.Institute of Quality Management and Business Administration (IQB-FHS)FHS St. Gallen, University of Applied SciencesSt. GallenSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations