You are here

iLEAD- Institute for Leadership Excellence and Development

A photo of the iLEAD team standing and sitting around a conference table looking at the camera and smiliing.

iLEAD completes world-class research employers can use today.

The University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Leadership Excellence and Development is dedicated to discovering practical methods for improving workplaces through rigorous, applied research.  The team consists of Ph.D.-qualified researchers at UIC Business.  iLEAD works with students, employees and employers in Chicago and beyond to conduct action-oriented, custom-designed research.



iLEAD: Conducting research to advance business outcomes and scientific knowledge on effective management processes

iLEAD partners with businesses to conduct custom-designed research to address key employment and leadership issues.

Our research is rigorously designed and analyzed to make a scientific contribution to the field of management studies.

Projects are conducted by a team of professors, doctoral, master's, and undergraduate students with expertise in the area.

Enhancing Workplace Success From Multiple Vantage Points

  • Employment selection and onboarding
  • Servant leadership
  • Engagement and retention
  • Career experiences and outcomes
  • Balancing work and family


iLEAD Co-Directors

Dr. Sandy Wayne
Professor of Management & Associate Dean, UIC
Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from Texas A&M University
30 years experience conducting customized projects


Dr. Don Kluemper
Associate Professor of Management, UIC
Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Oklahoma State University
Industry experience in Human Resource Management

Research for Action

iLEAD's research is conducted by world-renowned faculty and covers a broad  array of topics, including leadership, motivation, mobility of women, employment selection and workplace-relevant personality traits.  The Institute's success in advancing the profession of human resources is underscored by more than fifty journal articles based on projects funded by iLEAD.

Sandy Wayne
Phone: (708) 287-0153

Don Kluemper
Phone: (225) 362-2858


Past Events

A photo of an older man with white hair wearing dark-rimmed glasses

Visiting Academic Scholar Dr. Ray Sparrowe

Ray Sparrowe (PhD, University of Illinois Chicago) is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. His primary research areas include leadership, social networks, and team processes. He spoke to iLEAD faculty and students about his recent research and career issues. 

A photo of an Asian man wearing glass with khaki pants

Professor Gordon Cheung

Professor Gordon Cheung, Deptartment of Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, presented a seminar on "Mediation Analysis in Marketing and Business Research: Theory Development and Analytical Methods."

A photo of many people of various ages and races all sitting

C-Suite Executive Selection and Development

Dr. Jennifer Weiss, Executive Consultant at HR Alignment, Ltd. spoke with us about C-suite executive selection and development.  She also presented at Professor Sandy Wayne's "Intro to HR" course as well as Professor Jenny Hoobler's MBA course. 

A photo of a woman with dark hair wearing a grey skirt with a floral blouse

Science for a Smarter Workplace: Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Work at PepsiCo, Google, and Intel

Students and faculty were invited to learn from three top industrial-organizational psychologists who delivered insights that drive business results with a focus on tackling strategic human resource issues. Dr. Allan Church from PepsiCo, Dr. Michelle Donovan from Google, and Dr. Alexis Fink from Intel showcased how the science of I/O at three large, global organizations can create positive impact for organizations and their people at all levels. 

Dr. Church showcased PepsiCo’s LeAD, the integrated multi-tier “Leadership Assessment and Development” process they use to identify, confirm, and develop talent. Dr. Donovan shared information on Google’s “Project Oxygen” that introduces managers to performance expectations, a vocabulary for discussing management challenges, and a framework for manager development. Dr. Fink explained “Career Models,” an integrated talent management system at Intel for selection, performance appraisal, and learning and development.

A photo of a man with long grey hair and a beard

Robert Cooke, CEO Human Synergistics Presents the LSI Feedback Tool

Dr. Robert Cooke, CEO of Human Synergistics presented the LSI Feedback Tool and discussed how companies use this model for employee development. 

A photo of several people sitting on the same side of a table

Managerial Consulting Project Final Presentation at Cook County Headquarters

Dr. Don Kluemper and his MGMT 595 students presented their findings on a new performance management system for Cook County salaried employees. 

Completed and Ongoing Research

Ongoing Projects

The question “what is leadership?” has occupied human intellectual inquiry since the beginning of recorded history.  Plato, Aristotle, and Machiavelli attempted to answer.  Organizational scholars have struggled with this question for over 100 years.  A recent review of leadership scholarship showed 66 separate classifications of leadership behaviors. It is generally believed among leadership scholars that there has been little work to integrate the findings of these distinct areas of leadership research.

In response to changes in the workforce and society at-large, HRM practices have sought to help employees effectively balance responsibilities central to two key domains comprising an individual’s identity: work and family.  Efforts from both research and practice have yielded a rich body of literature providing insight into how family life impacts work, how work impacts family life, and how organizations might assist employees in balancing the inherent tension between the two.  

Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory describes the quality of unique relationships between leaders and each of their followers. Graen and Scandura (1987) suggested that LMX relationships advance through three stages: the role taking stage, the role making stage, and the role routinization stage. Most LMX researchers only conduct cross-sectional or cross-lag designs, while few studies actually focus on the within-person processes of LMX development and its influence.

In a group setting, a leader’s mood is very salient to group members and as a result, leaders are a key source of mood contagion. Mood contagion means that one person’s mood (e.g., sad) transfers to another person. Due to having greater formal authority and power, social psychologists suggest that leaders tend to display their emotions publicly, including negative emotions such as anger, contempt and disgust.

Completed projects

Servant leadership is focused on serving followers first with ethical, empowering, supportive, and empathetic behaviors. Whereas other leadership approaches, such as transformational leadership, focus on aligning follower behavior with the goals of the organization, servant leadership has a strong focus on providing followers with the tools and support they need to reach their full potential. When followers are empowered, supported, and trust their leaders, their engagement in required, and especially, discretionary behaviors, naturally follows.

In the face of recurring corporate scandals and rampantly selfish behavior, a focus on various types of leadership that takes into account the interests of others more so than oneself has started to emerge. Other-orientation is defined as “the propensity to be concerned for others” (De Dreu, 2006; De Dreu & Nauta, 2009; Meglino & Korsgaard, 2004: p. 946) It is a viable alternative to the purely rational or self-centered approach to employee motivation.  

Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is extra-role, discretionary behavior exemplified by individuals going above and beyond formal job duties. Examples of such behavior include helping a co-worker who has a heavy workload, or maintaining a positive attitude about work when in challenging circumstances. While research suggests OCB positively impacts individual-level outcomes, recent scholarship has critiqued the assumption that individuals may limitlessly accrue positive benefits from their citizenship behavior.

In an iLEAD-funded study that was conducted in 2013 at a multispecialty group practice and healthcare provider of a large Midwestern teaching hospital, Drs. Jenny Hoobler (UIC) and Wendy Casper (University of Texas at Arlington), and Morgan Wilson (Mount St. Mary’s University), discovered that workers with

 The question “what is leadership?” has occupied human intellectual inquiry since the beginning of recorded history. Plato, Aristotle, and Machiavelli attempted to answer. Organizational scholars have struggled with this question for over 100 years. A recent review of leadership scholarship showed 66 separate classifications of leadership behaviors. It is generally believed among leadership scholars that there has been little work to integrate the findings of these distinct areas of leadership research.

Employee engagement has been argued to be an important driver of a firm’s competitive advantage, as employee engagement has been linked to both individual- and group-level outcomes. Conceptualized as an individual being psychologically and personally vested in one’s task performance, work engagement fosters passion, vigilance, and focus to enhance one’s work experience.

There is a rich and consistent history of scholarship on the impact of various types of leader behaviors on the performance outcomes of followers, both individual and teams. These studies have focused on leadership’s impact on task performance (executing assigned job duties) as well as on citizenship or helping behaviors (voluntary actions that support the organization or fellow coworkers). Accordingly, HR departments have long trained leaders in behaviors that they hope will produce the best outcomes from their teams.

Many HR professionals focus on developing or implementing policies and procedures that ensure that employees are treated in the same way or behave similarly in performing aspects of their job. Although HR policies and procedures are beneficial, they should not prevent differential treatment of employees. Differential treatment or customized work arrangements in the workplace focuses on customizing employees’ jobs or conditions of employment based on their performance or unmet needs.

Bad bosses are frequently the most stressful aspect of work and, unfortunately, they are not uncommon. Recognizing this, abusive supervision, which refers to “subordinates’ perceptions of the sustained display of hostile verbal and non-verbal behaviors excluding physical contact” (Tepper, 2000: p. 178), has received a great deal of attention in the literature. Some victims of abusive supervision attempt to retaliate directly against their supervisors.

Increasingly, leadership research is investigating leadership models that address concerns for ethics, morality, and values in the workplace. The traditional frameworks based on agentic perspective, with its view of individuals as self-serving, and competitive, are deemed inadequate in today’s workplace reality and therefore giving way to emergent leadership theories that emphasize relational perspective with its view of individuals as self-actualizing and cooperative. The current study focused on one such leadership approach that puts strong emphasis on leader serving followers.