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Assessing leadership behavior

Zach (2014, p. 119) identified seven appropriate scales for assessing leadership behavior. The Conger-Kanungo Scale (Conger & Kanungo, 1988) measures leader?ship behavior over a period of time. Criticism of the instrument includes the high intercorrelation between its subscales (Rowold & Heinitz, 2007). The Transformational Leadership Behavior Inventory (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman & Fetter, 1990) is the most widely accepted and theoretically substantiated measure of transformational behavior besides the MLQ. The measure evaluates transformational and transactional leadership in terms of 33 items (Podsakoff, Todor, Grover & Huber, 1984). A validated German language version offering high reliability is also available (Rowold & Heinitz, 2007). The Leadership Practice Inventory (Posner & Kouzes, 1993) is a 30-item measure repeatedly showing low to moderate internal consistency (Zagorsek, Stough & Jaklic, 2006). Behling and McFillen (1996) created the Follower Belief Questionnaire which assesses nine dimensions of transformational leadership behavior. Zach (2014, p. 121) found that the measure has thus far been applied only sparsely in academic research and lacks a validated German translation. Alimo-Metcalfe and Alban-Metcalfe (2001) developed the Transformational Leadership Questionnaire which is used in accordance with FRL, yet reflects only the transformational dimension. Some researchers criticize the focus of leadership assessment scales on management rather than on the leadership process itself (Kent, Crotts & Azziz, 2001). Six dimensions reflecting the process were developed, of which only four factors could be confirmed thus far (Kent et al., 2001, p. 223). The scale developed by Rafferty and Griffin (2004) reflects all aspects of the FRL compared to the other discussed measures. However, the scale shows high intercorrelation between the different sub-dimensions. Contingent-reward leadership displayed high positive correlation with the transformational scale. Zach (2014, p. 123) concludes that using the MLQ for assessing leadership behavior bears advantages over the discussed instruments. High intercorrelation between subscales and lower internal consistency of some measures do not abrogate the criticism of the MLQ (Bass & Avolio, 1995). The original MLQ consisted of 73 items and was first published as a 67-item version by Bass and Avolio in 1990. The revised scale, the MLQ 5X (Bass & Avolio, 1997) shows consistently acceptable reliability (An- tonakis et al., 2003; Bass & Riggio, 2006). Furthermore, a thoroughly validated German language version exists (Felfe, 2006). Den Hartog et al. (1997) suggested that passive management-by-exception and laissez-faire leadership should be condensed to one passive leadership factor, as transactional behavior is far more active than passive MBE. This is assumed to be reflected in the improved internal consistency. Felfe and Goihl (2002) confirm the lack of adequate discriminant validity of passive MBE and laissez-faire leadership.

Although Full Range Leadership is among the most influential leadership theories of the last decades, meta-analyses show that it is not free of criticism (Judge & Piccolo, 2004; Wang, Oh, Courtright & Colbert, 2011a). Full Range Leadership and the major academic focus on transformational leadership neglect the task and stra- tegic-oriented facets of leadership (Yukl, 2008). Beyond FRL, leaders must take environmental factors into consideration and ensure efficient use of resources (Mumford, 2006). Antonakis and House (2002) call the particular behavior of striving for organizational effectiveness instrumental leadership. Instrumental leadership was found to be strongly linked with prototypically good leadership and to be more important for effectiveness outcomes than transformational or transactional leadership (Antonakis & House, 2014, p. 765).

 
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