Higher Education Managers/Executives/Administrators
To investigate possible explanations of why a discrepancy between leader
and follower commonly exists in Kouzes and Posner's leadership practice of "enabling
others to act."
Research design involved a multiple case with embedded unit analysis
case study. In each case, the researcher directly and indirectly observed and collected data
concerning the interaction between a leader and their followers. Three sites were selected
from departments or centers located within Colleges of Agriculture at land grant
universities from the Midwest with strong leadership reputations. Three leaders and 21
subordinates were involved. All respondents completed the LPI (self or observer form, as
appropriate) and provided demographic information, prior to their being interviewed.
At Site X the five leadership practices were ranked in the exact same
order by the leader and his/her constituents; the only statistically significant difference
between self and observer scores was on Modeling, with self being lower. At Site Y the
leadership practices were ranked differently by the leader and his/her constituents, and
there were statistically significant differences between self and observer scores on
Challenging, Inspiring and Encouraging (self lower). At Site Z, the rank order was
approximately the same between the leader and his/her constituents, and constituents
scored higher than the leader on Enabling and Encouraging. Overall, the embedded unit
analysis failed to replicate the significant difference commonly found between leaders and
their constituents on Enabling Others to Act.
"The results of the study were very supportive of both the transformational theories
of leadership and Kouzes and Posner's leadership practices....The leadership practices
identified by Kouzes and Posner were also identifiable in the case study analysis" (p.170).
Moreover, "this study produced evidence that the LPI can be used as an effective
measurement device of a leader's leadership practices" (p. 177).