Graduation Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Director of the Honors Program

Lynn Sondag, MFA

First Reader

Matt Davis, PhD

Second Reader

William Phillips, PhD


A successful leader must evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each team member in order to ensure the most workplace success. Research has shown that an individual’s personality type is related to his or her personality style and contributes to how well someone responds to the leadership style. The goal of this study was to look at the personality types of undergraduate college students and assess the relationship to their preferred leadership styles. A positive relationship between both personality traits openness and extraversion with a more transformational leadership style. A positive relationship between both personality traits conscientiousness and neuroticism with a more autocratic leadership style was also expected. The sample included 47 undergraduate students from a small university located in northern California. Participants were recruited in three ways: via email to their supervisors, classroom visits, and requests on personal social media accounts. Participants were asked to complete an online survey that assessed their personality type, preferred leadership style to work with. Results indicated partially confirming the first hypothesis with a positive significant relationship between extraversion and a more transformational leadership style, which means someone who is more social prefers to work with a leader that emphasizes communication. The second hypothesis was partially disproved as there was a negative significant relationship between conscientiousness and a more autocratic leadership style, which means someone who is more organized is less likely to prefer to work with a leader that is very strict.