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This paper is an exploration of the relationships between the stereotype content model, implicit leadership theory, and leadership behavior theory with a focus on illuminating the elements held in common by these three theories and identifying the positive implications of integrating these theories into an inclusive social cognitive model for future leadership research.

After briefly summarizing the three focal theories, we highlight the correspondence between them. We then establish the importance of organizing these theories into a comprehensive model which can be used to understand and explain leadership from a cohesive, multidimensional approach. In proposing such a theoretical model, we take into account the reciprocal relationships between stereotypes of groups and individuals, leadership prototypes held within the mind of those perceiving the leader, and leadership behaviors acted out within organizations. We also discuss the implications of integrating these theories into a dynamic social cognitive model of leadership perceptions.

These implications include accurately understanding the gravity of warmth and competency judgments in leadership appraisal and appropriately recognizing the consequences that halo effect and negative correlations between dimensions have on leadership recognition and evaluation in both theory and practice. We propose future research to empirically establish the theoretical foundation of the social cognitive model of leadership perceptions. We also suggest that this model might be used to inform the assessment, selection, training, and development of those who lead in a variety of contexts.