An Analysis of the Relationship Between Personality Preference Traits of Executive Level and Mid-Level Law Enforcement/Corrections Leaders and Exemplary Leadership Practices

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TITLE: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Personality Preference Traits of Executive Level and Mid-Level Law Enforcement/Corrections Leaders and Exemplary Leadership Practices
RESEARCHER: Carol E. Rasor
Department of Adult and Vocational Education
University of South Florida
Doctoral Dissertation: May 1995

To examine the relationship between personality profiles and exemplary leadership practices of mid-level and executive level law enforcement and corrections leaders.

Three county sheriff's offices and three police departments in Florida participated. Three hundred thirty-two (279 were certified law enforcement and 53 were certified corrections officers) subjects were administered a demographic survey (agency type, type of certification, rank, length of time in law enforcement/corrections, length of time in rank, number of assignments at current rank, total number of assignments, number of different agencies employed with, education level, age, gender, race, numbers of reprimands, suspensions, and terminations), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the LPI (self and observer).

There were no significant differences in the proportion of MBTI profiles by rank or agency (police vs. sheriff). None of the five regression analyses revealed a significant relationship between the 8 MBTI preference categories and the ratings by the superiors and the subordinates within each of the five leadership practices (LPI-Other). For the LPI-Self ratings and the MBTI preference categories there were significant relationships for Challenging, Modeling and Encouraging; however, none of the regression weights for the individual predictors were significant because there was a high degree of correlation among the predictors. The Pearson correlation coefficients for the MBTI and the LPI (Self) were significant for Challenging (positive with extraversion and intuition; negative with introversion and sensing); Modeling (positive with sensing and judging; negative with intuition and perceiving); and, Encouraging (positive with extraversion and judging; negative with introversion, intuition, and perceiving). MBTI preference categories of thinking and feeling had no significant correlations with any of the five leadership practices; also, no one MBTI preference category was found to be significantly correlated with all five leadership practices. Overall, the number of MBTI categories the leaders and subordinates have in common does not greatly influence the mean scores on the LPI; the same is true between superiors' and leaders' number of MBTI categories in common.

There was strong inter-rater agreement (correlation) between the LPI scores provided by subordinates and superiors across all five leadership practices; while there were no significant correlations between self scores and those provided by superiors. Selfratings and subordinates' ratings were correlated for Challenging and Inspiring, but not for Enabling, Modeling and Encouraging.

There were no statistically significant differences in LPI-Self scores based upon respondent educational level, organizational level (rank), gender, or race; the same was true for LPI-Other scores. Age (and length of service) were negatively correlated with Challenging, Inspiring and Encouraging. There were some interesting relationships between LPI scores and the extent to which leaders had been disciplined, reprimanded, suspended, etc. during their career. For example, those who had never received a reprimand or been suspended during their careers had significantly higher scores on Enabling than did their counterparts who had been reprimanded or suspended.