Title page for ETD etd-06202008-132912

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Van Wyk, Juanita
Email vwyk1@telkom.co.za
URN etd-06202008-132912
Document Title The utilisation of a 360° leadership assessment questionnaire as part of a leadership development model and process
Degree PhD (Psychology)
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof D J F Maree Committee Chair
  • HPLC
  • holistic model for leadership development
  • leadership competencies
  • 360° leadership assessment and feed back
  • learning organization
  • leadership
  • leadership assessment questionnaire
  • LAQ
  • leadership behaviour
  • high performance leadership competencies
  • leadership development
  • development planning
  • development actions
Date 2008-04-14
Availability unrestricted

The immense changes in the economic environment caused by globalization and technology have forced organizations from around the world to transform in order to adapt, survive, and succeed in the changing world of the new millennium.

These changes are not only in the external elements of the organization – its products, activities, or structures – but also in its intrinsic way of operating – its values, mind-set, even its primary purpose. Organizations must learn faster and adapt to the rapid change in the new environment or they will not survive (De Vries, 2001; Ellis & Pennington, 2004).

According to Senge (1990b), learning organizations demand a new view of leadership. In a learning organization, leaders are designers, stewards, and teachers. They are responsible for the building of organizations where employees continually expand their capabilities to understand complexity, clarify vision, and improve shared mental models – that is, the leaders are responsible for learning.

Leaders in learning organizations must help employees see the big picture, with its underlying trends, forces, and potential surprises. They need to think systematically and be able to foresee how internal and external factors might benefit or destroy the organization (Senge 1990b).

Autocratic leadership behaviour, focused on exercising top-down control is more successful in stable environments. Transformational leadership behaviour focused on giving inspiration through the marshalling of ideas, creativity, and the initiative of its employees, is more successful in competitive, changing environments (Cockerill, Schroder & Hunt, 1998).

The focus of this research has been on the measurement of leadership behaviour as part of the implementation of a holistic model and process in an organization that has to function in a competitive, changing environment. A 360° leadership assessment questionnaire has been used to conduct the research.

A set of fifteen transformational leadership competencies have been identified by the organization where the research was conducted as the leadership competencies that will enable the organizations’ leaders to be effective, successful leaders in a dynamic, changing and competitive business environment. Based on the identified set of leadership competencies, a 360° Leadership Assessment Questionnaire (LAQ) was developed and validated. The LAQ was used to measure leadership behaviour in the organization under research annually over a period of three years as part of the implementation of a holistic model and process for leadership development.

The objectives of this research were the following:

  • To measure leadership behaviour by means of a 360° leadership assessment questionnaire as part of the implementation of a holistic model for leadership development;
  • To track the overall changes in leadership behaviour over a period of three years in order to determine if the implementation of a holistic model and process had a positive impact on leadership behaviour over a extended period of time;
  • To analyse and describe the trends and patterns in leadership behaviour based on the results of the 360° leadership assessment questionnaire conducted over a period of three years;
  • To describe the elements and implementation of a holistic model and process for leadership development.

The quantitative statistical analysis of the 360° leadership assessment data indicated statistically significant differences in nine of the fifteen transformational leadership competencies that were measured in the 360° Leadership Assessment Questionnaire. All the ratings showing statistically significant differences were identified, interpreted and discussed.

The following trends and patterns were identified, based on the statistical analysis of the research data:

  • Top Management (M2-3) received consistently higher ratings than the other management levels;
  • Middle Managers (M5-6) received significantly lower ratings than the other management levels in terms of integrity, purpose building, information capacity, conceptual ability, business acumen and empowering;
  • Female leaders received significantly lower ratings than male leaders in terms of information capacity, people development and empowering. Although females were rated higher than their male counterparts by their supervisors, all the other rater groups rated female leaders lower than male leaders on these competencies;
  • Leaders in the age group 25-40 years received the highest ratings on business acumen and visionary thinking;
  • Leaders in the age group 41 – 50 years were rated the highest by all the rater groups on conceptual ability;
  • African (Black) leaders were rated significantly higher on visionary thinking in years 1, 2 and 3 than leaders from other race groups.

The company overall results indicated an improvement in most of the competencies, except for integrity and self-responsibility which stayed the same. Motivational capacity is the only competency where there has been an improvement in year 2 and a decline in year 3.

The competencies on which leaders received the lowest ratings are motivational capacity, people development, visionary thinking and empowerment.

The overall trend on the overall 360° leadership assessment results over a period of three years clearly indicates an improvement in all the competencies, except for motivational capacity, integrity and self-responsibility. These trends and patterns were utilised to determine what type of development interventions and programmes are needed in the organization to facilitate leadership development in the context of the Holistic Model for Leadership Development. The improvement in the overall 360° leadership assessment results also indicates the implementation of a holistic model and process for leadership development has led to an improvement of the overall leadership capability of the organization where the research was conducted.

© University of Pretoria 2007

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  07back.pdf 921.67 Kb 00:04:16 00:02:11 00:01:55 00:00:57 00:00:04

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