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Northouse – Leadership: Theory and Practice, Sixth Edition
Instructor Resources
Chapter 13 – Psychodynamic Approach
Assignments and Exercises
1. What is the main function of leaders under the psychodynamic approach? What are the
differences of this approach from those we have studied in previous chapters? Describe and
define the underlying assumption of this approach. [This is more of a study question than a
discussion question.]
2. What are the origins of the psychodynamic approach and who were 2 of the pioneers in this
effort? What other scholar was a leading proponent of this approach?
3. What is transactional analysis? Describe and define the 3 ego states and their subdivisions.
Define and describe how leaders and followers are affected by complimentary interactions
and crossed transactions. Apply these 2 interactions/transactions to a work situation that you
have experienced. Explain how TA informs your assessment of current and future
4. Define/describe the 4 personality types of Freud/Fromm. Which of these personality types do
you feel best describes your own personality? Describe a productive and unproductive version
of your personality type. Do you know someone who is a productive narcissist? What
characteristics do you find most beneficial in this type?
5. Complete Case Studies 13.1 & 13.2. Answer all questions related to these case studies.
6. Complete the Psychodynamic Approach Survey. Do you agree with the description of your
type? Does it describe you and in what way? Give a personal example. Discuss your view
of the accuracy of your scores and explain how knowing your own type, and those of others,
might assist you in a leadership situation.
7. Why does Maccoby conclude that the productive narcissistic leader is the best type of
leader? In what situations might this type of leader be ineffective or even destructive?
8. What is social character and how did it lead to a shift in leadership perspective? Identify
some of the “specific cultures or social classes” you belong to. Do they have a macro
personality? What has shaped that personality? How influential do you think social
character is in shaping an individual’s leadership style?
9. How much of an influence do you think changing family structures have had on the way we
think about leadership today? In what ways did your family of origin influence your
leadership motivations or capabilities?
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