Non-Prototypical Leaders: Challenges and Remedies

Leaders that do not match followers’ implicit prototype of how a leader looks like or what makes an effective leader (e.g., in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation) are less likely to emerge as a leader, and experience negative biases in how their performance is evaluated after they have obtained a leadership position.

This research topic centers on illuminating when and why non-prototypical leaders suffer, and which factors improve chances of non-prototypical leaders to rise on the career ladder and be seen as effective.


The research seminar of the summer term 2020 Applied Research in Organizational Behavior A in the Master's program will focus on research questions on the relationship between stereotypes towards younger leaders and their perception as a typical and effective leader.

This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research under grant number 01PL17068. The responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors.



Selected publications:

  • Daldrop, C., Homan, A. C., Buengeler, C. (2020, September 17-18). Younger adults as leaders and followers: Age-related stereotypes and the leader/follower prototype (mis)match [Paper presentation]. Herbstworkshop WK Personal, German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB), Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • Daldrop, C., Buengeler, C., Homan, A. C. (2020, August 7-11). Changing perceptions of younger leaders: The role of the observer and organizational change [Paper presentation]. 80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Buengeler, C., Homan, A. C., & Voelpel, S. C. (2016). The challenge of being a young manager: The effects of contingent reward and participative leadership on team-level turnover depend on leader age. Journal of Organizational Behavior37(8), 1224-1245. doi: 10.1002/job.2101