Toward a Leadership Model in Corrections

Government/Public Sector    Managers/Executives/Administrators

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TITLE: Toward a Leadership Model in Corrections
RESEARCHER: Marie Mactavish
The Fielding Institute
Doctoral Dissertation: August 1993

The purpose of this study was to identify the leadership practices of senior level managers in the field of corrections, and to compare them with leaders in other professions.

A panel of nine experts were interviewed in order to identify a sample of 70 senior-level leaders in corrections and to develop items for External Leadership Inventory (ELI) dealing with leaders' practices with respect to their interactions with the external environment. Fifty-five responded (response rate = 79%); and the typical respondent was a Caucasian male (87%), between the ages of 45 and 49 (34%), with a graduate degree (74%), and about eight years of tenure. Local and state government institutions were about equally represented. Along with providing demographic and institutional data, both the ELI and Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) were completed.

Reliabilities for the LPI ranged from .61 (Enabling) to .70 (Challenging and Modeling) to .79 (Inspiring) and .80 (Encouraging). The average scores for the correctional leaders were significantly (p < .001) higher on all five LPI scales compared to those reported in the normative population by Kouzes and Posner; although the rank ordering was the same for both populations.