The Effect of Leadership Training on Participative Leadership Practices

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TITLE: The Effect of Leadership Training on Participative Leadership Practices
RESEARCHER: Dana E. Wright
Training and Development Coordinator
Human Resources Division
Santa Clara Valley Water District
San Jose, California 95118
A Directed Research Project
University of San Francisco, September, 1994

To assess whether a six-week leadership training course taught in-house created changes in leadership behavior, as noted by the participants and those affected by their leadership.

Subjects were 47 supervisors at the Santa Clara Valley Water District; with, on average, seven direct reports. They ranged from 26 to 59 years of age (averaged 44 years). There were 31 men and 16 women in the sample. Each of the nine departments within the District participated, representing the fields of engineering, finance, administration, and maintenance. The LPI was used as the pretest instrument, and the LPIDelta was used as the post-test measure. The control group took the post-test eight weeks after the pre-test, but during their first Leadership Academy session. The treatment group took the post-test seven weeks after the Leadership Academy was completed, approximately 14 weeks after the pre-test. The training consisted of the Zenger-Miller "FrontLine Leadership" program. There were no significant differences between the LPI scores (pretest) for the control and treatment groups.

The treatment group's scores on the LPI-Delta (post-test) were higher than the control group's on all five leadership practices (multivariate F = 3.16, d.f. = 5,41, p < .05). LPI-Delta scores on Challenging, Enabling, Modeling, and Encouraging were all significantly higher for the treatment group compared with the control group. From the point of view of constituents, the treatment group was significantly higher than the control group on the leadership practices of Challenging and Inspiring.

"The findings indicate that the training seems to change the leadership behaviors of the participants" (p. 40).