This study examined the incoming leadership-oriented differences between students (N=166) enrolled in either an elective leadership studies course (n=50) or an elective team-based engineering projects course (n=116) to determine significant predictors of transformational leadership behavior. Participants completed measures of leadership-oriented behaviors, self efficacy, and motivation. Students enrolled in the leadership studies course scored higher on measures of both transformational and transactional leadership behaviors, as well as motivation to lead based on affective identity and social-normative motivation. For students in the leadership course, the only significant predictor of transformational leadership was leadership self-efficacy score. These findings suggest the importance of self-efficacy in predicting behavior and the need to attend to students’ internal and external motivations in creating pathways to leadership practices.

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© 2015 Association of Leadership Educators

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