Leanne Atwater


Leanne Atwater


Leanne Atwater joined the University of Houston in July 2008. Dr. Atwater earned her bachelor's and Master's degrees from San Diego State University and worked as a personnel research psychologist for the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center. She completed her Ph.D. in social/organizational psychology at Claremont Graduate School in 1985.

Dr. Atwater is excited about leading the department to become widely recognized as a center for excellence in leadership education and research, as well as one of the most highly regarded management departments in the country. The department has recently added a Minor in Leadership for business and non-business majors, as well as a Leadership Certificate for MBA students.

She is an active researcher with recent publications including a recent book entitled "Leadership, Feedback and the Open Communication Gap" co-written with David Waldman. She continues to pursue her love of research and has published articles in top journals on the topics of leadership, feedback processes and most recently counter-productive work behavior.

She teaches classes in leadership and organizational behavior at the undergraduate, MBA and executive MBA levels.

Download Professor Leanne Atwater's CV.


  • Taylor, S., Sturm, R., Atwater, L., & Braddy, P. (in press). Underestimating one's leadership impact: Are women leaders more susceptible. Organizational Dynamics.
  • Atwater, L., Kim, Y., Witt, A., Collison, K., Latheef, Z., Longacre, T., & Zheng, D. Reactions to Abusive Supervision: Examining the Roles of Emotions and Gender (in press). International Journal of Human Resources Management).
  • Day, D., Fleenor, J., Atwater, L., Sturm, R., & McKee, R. (2014). Advances in leaders and leadership development: A review of 25 years of research and theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 25, 63-82.
  • Sturm, R., Taylor, S., Atwater, L., & Braddy, P. (2014). Leader Self-awareness: An examination and implications of women's under-prediction. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35, 657-677. doi: 10.1002/job.1915.
  • Braddy, P., Sturm, R., Atwater, L., Smither, J., & Fleenor, J. (2013). Validating the feedback orientation scale in a leadership development context. Group and Organization Management, 38, 6, 690-716.
  • Carmeli, A., Atwater, L., Levi, A. (2011) How leadership enhances employee's knowledge sharing at work: The intervening roles of relational and organizational identification. Journal of Technology Transfer, 36, 257-274.
  • Fleenor, J., Smither, J., Atwater, L., Braddy, P., & Sturm, R. (2010). Self-other rating agreement in leadership: A review. (Invited) Leadership Quarterly Yearly Review, 21, 1005-1034.
  • Perry, S., Witt, A., Penny, L., & Atwater, L. (2010) The downside of goal-focused leadership: Exploring the exhaustion effect among unmotivated workers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 1145-1153
  • Fleenor, J., Smither, J., Atwater, L., Braddy, P., & Sturm, R. (2010). Self-other rating agreement in leadership: A review. (Invited) Leadership Quarterly Yearly Review.
  • Walker, A., Smither, J., Atwater, L., Domminick, P., Brett, J., & Reilly, R. (2010). Personality and multisource feedback improvement: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, 175-204. (Best Paper Award).
  • Atwater, L., Wang, M., Smither, J., & Fleenor, J. (2009). Are cultural characteristics associated with the relationship between self and others' ratings of leadership? Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 4, 876-886.
  • Atwater, L., & Carmeli, A. (2009). Leader-member exchange, feelings of energy and involvement in creative work. Leadership Quarterly.20.264-275.
  • Smither, J., Brett, J., & Atwater, L. (in press). What do leaders recall about multi-source feedback? Journal of Leadership and Organization Studies.
  • Atwater, L., Brett, J., & Charles, A. (2007). The delivery of workplace discipline: Lessons learned. Organizational Dynamics, 36, 4, 392-403.
  • Atwater, L., Brett, J., & Charles, A. (2007). Multi-source feedback: Lessons learned, and implications for practice. Human Resource Management Journal, 46, 285-307.
  • Atwater, L., & Brett, J. (2006). Feedback format: Does it influence managers' reactions to feedback? Journal of Organizational and Occupational Psychology, 79, 517-532.
  • Atwater, L., & Brett, J. (2006). 360 degree feedback to managers: Does it result in changes in employee attitudes? Group and Organization Management, 31, 5, 578-600.


  • Bolea, A., & Atwater, L. (2015). Applied Leadership Development. Taylor & Francis; Routledge
  • Atwater, L., & Waldman, D. (2008). Leadership, Feedback and the Open Communication Gap. LEA.
  • Waldman, D. & Atwater, L. (1998). The Power of 360 Degree Feedback. Gulf Publishing.
  • Atwater, L., & Penn, R. (Eds.). (1989). Military Leadership: Traditions and Future Trends. Annapolis, MD: Action Printing.

Contact Info

MH 315H
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B.A. - San Diego State University - Psychology
M.A. - San Diego State University - Psychology
Ph.D. - Claremont Graduate School - Social/Organizational Psychology