Special Issue "Self-Leadership"

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387). This special issue belongs to the section "Leadership".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Christopher Neck
Guest Editor
Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, United States
Interests: self-leadership; employee fitness
Prof. Dr. Mike Goldsby
Guest Editor
Department of Marketing and Management, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, United States
Interests: entrepreneurship; self-leadership

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Self-leadership is a process through which individuals control their own behavior, influencing and leading themselves through the use of specific sets of behavioral and cognitive strategies. The concept of self-leadership first emerged in the mid-1980s as an expansion of self-management which was rooted in clinical self-control theory and inspired by the notion of “substitutes for leadership”. Over the past three decades, the self-leadership concept has enjoyed considerable popularity, as evidenced by the large number of practitioner-oriented self-leadership books and articles on the subject. Moreover, self-leadership has earned the respect of many academics, as reflected by a plethora of theoretical and empirical self-leadership journal publications and by coverage in a growing number of management and leadership textbooks. Business executives have also embraced self-leadership concepts through training programs designed to increase self-leadership skills and behaviors in the workplace

While the body of knowledge surrounding self-leadership is substantial, there is still much work to be done to gain a full understanding of self-leadership theory and how individuals can lead themselves within an organization. Hence, the aim of the proposed Special Issue is to deeply investigate existing and/or new topics related to self-leadership in either a conceptual or empirical manner. Research directions to be followed include but are not limited to:

  • What is the relationship between self-leadership and entrepreneurial success?
  • Does the ability to self-lead one’s self impact her ability to communicate to others within an organization and vice versa?
  • What is the state of the art in terms of self-leadership measurement?
  • What has been researched in terms of self-leadership theory in the past and what are future directions for the study of self-leadership?
  • What are the international aspects of the study of self-leadership? Do different cultures self-lead themselves differently?
  • Do emotions impact one’s ability to self-lead themselves?
  • What are the organizational/environmental conditions that enhance/impede successful self-leadership within organizations?
  • Does one’s fitness/health level relate to one’s ability to effectively self-lead themselves?

Please feel free to contact the corresponding guest editor for questions about the suitability of the research paper with the aim of the Special Issue.

Selective References

  1. Anderson, S. and Prussia, G.E. 1997. The self-leadership questionnaire: Preliminary assessment of construct validity. Journal of Leadership Studies 4: 119–143.
  2. Goldsby, G., Neck, C.P., and Gerde, V. W. 1999. Inner leadership: A social cognitive-based approach toward enhanced ethical decision making. Teaching Business Ethics 2: 228–247.
  3. Houghton, D., Wu, J., Godwin, J.L., Neck, C.P., and Manz, C.C. 2012. Effective Stress Management: A Proposed Model of Emotional Intelligence, Self-Leadership, and Student Stress Coping. Journal of Management Education 36: 220–238.
  4. Neck, P., Manz, C.C. and Houghton, J.D. 2020. Self-Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Personal Excellence. Thousand Oaks, CA, United States: Sage.
  5. Neck, P. and Houghton, J.D. 2006. Two decades of self-leadership theory and research: Past developments, present trends, and future possibilities. Journal of Managerial Psychology 21: 270–295.
  6. Neck, P., Houghton, J.D., Sardeshmukh, S.R., Goldsby, M. and Godwin, J.L. 2013. Self-leadership: a cognitive resource for entrepreneurs. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship 26: 463–480.
  7. Neck, P. and Manz, C.C. 1992. Thought self-leadership: The impact of self-talk and mental imagery on performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior 12: 681–699.
  8. Neck, P. and Manz, C.C. 1996a. Total leadership quality: Integrating employee self-leadership and total quality management. In Advances in the Management of Organizational Quality. Edited by S. Goush and D. Fedor. Greenwich, CT, UK: JAI Press.
  9. Neck, P. and Manz, C.C. 1996b. Thought self-leadership: The impact of mental strategies training on employee behavior, cognition, and emotion. Journal of Organizational Behavior 17: 445

Prof. Dr. Christopher Neck
Prof. Dr. Mike Goldsby
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Administrative Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Self-leadership
  • entrepreneurship
  • communication
  • leadership

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Core Self-Evaluations, Self-Leadership, and the Self-Serving Bias in Managerial Decision Making: A Laboratory Experiment
Adm. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci10030064 - 03 Sep 2020
The self-leadership construct has received great attention from scholars over the last 40 years due to its capacity to influence personal effectiveness. However, despite strongly influencing individuals’ self-efficacy, performed studies did not determine whether self-leadership is connected, and how, with the Core-Self Evaluation [...] Read more.
The self-leadership construct has received great attention from scholars over the last 40 years due to its capacity to influence personal effectiveness. However, despite strongly influencing individuals’ self-efficacy, performed studies did not determine whether self-leadership is connected, and how, with the Core-Self Evaluation (CSE) trait—a complex personality disposition based on self-efficacy, self-esteem, locus of control, and emotional stability—that has been found impacting decision-making processes within organizations. Moreover, it has not been identified whether individuals with a high level of self-leadership are more prone to be victims of some cognitive biases in decision-making processes, such as the internal attribution of successes and external attribution of failures (i.e., Self-Serving Bias, SSB) that are usually led by the strong belief of individuals in their own capacities. The outlined gaps can be substantiated by the following two research questions: “How is self-leadership related with CSE?” and “How does self-leadership influence the attribution of successes/failures?”. To answer these questions, the following were identified and analyzed for 93 executives: (i) the tendency in the attribution of successes and failures, (ii) the CSE, and (iii) their self-leadership level. Results show that: (i) a high level of CSE is connected with high levels of self-leadership; (ii) high levels of self-leadership bring individuals to the internal attribution of successes and external attribution of failures. This work reinforces the stream of (the few) studies that considers a high level of CSE and self-leadership as not always being desirable for managerial decision-making processes and consequent performance. This paper aims to enrich the debate concerning the relations between, on the one hand, self-leadership and, on the other hand, personality traits between self-leadership and decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Leadership)
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