York Abstract May 2013

The Perceptions of Leaders and Followers Regarding Leadership Practices in Rehabilitation Services Across the United States

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TITLE: The Perceptions of Leaders and Followers Regarding Leadership Practices in Rehabilitation Services Across the United States
RESEARCHER: Anna Maria York-Fankhauser
School of Education
Indiana Wesleyan University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: May 2013

The purpose of this study was to research organizational leadership the field of rehabilitation by identifying perceptions of their leadership practices and their followers’ perception of the same leadership practices.

For the purpose of this study, the United States was divided into five distinct regions, and 75 rehabilitation agencies from each region were randomly selected. The Census Bureau listed the total number of agencies in 2001 as 4151, and lists from each of the states were used to randomly select the 375 agencies for the study. Each agency leader completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and asked at least three constituents to complete the LPI Observer. Usable data sets totaled 40 agencies (10.6 % return rate) with a total of 168 respondents. The typical leader was female (60%) and had more than 20 years of service (78%). The typical constituent was female (79%) and were about equally spread between four breakouts by years of experience (less than 5, 5-10, 10-20, 20+ years).

No statistically significant correlations were found between the frequency of leadership behaviors reported by the leaders and their constituents. The author concludes: “Therefore, the results of this study indicate that the leader’s view of their own leadership does not affect perceptions by observers in this study either negatively or positively. In other words, it appears how the leaders of the current study score or view them is not related to how the observers of this study view these leaders on the five practices. Based on this study and the lack of other empirical studies using the LPI with this sector of leaders, this researcher concludes there is no correlation between the leaders’ and observers’ perceptions of the five leadership practices in the field of developmental and intellectual disabilities” (p. 103).

No significant differences were found on how the leaders viewed themselves and the scores from the Kouzes Posner normative data base. However, observers scored their leaders significantly higher on all five leadership practices in comparisons with the scores from the normative database.