Measuring Perceptions of Leadership in a Time of Organizational Change

Secondary Education    Principals/Superintendents

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TITLE: Measuring Perceptions of Leadership in a Time of Organizational Change
RESEARCHER: John A. Nicklin
Leadership and Training
University (British Columbia, Canada)
Masters Thesis: April 1999

To examine the effect of organizational change on perceptions of leadership practices.

The study took place within a small community college in the northern half of Vancouver Island (British Columbia) which was undergoing an organizational and strategic change. Subjects were solicited from the divisional leadership team (N=6) and a small group (N=3) of leaders from outside this team were recruited as a control group. Each subject completed the LPI and a group of 10 "observers," drawn from each subject's peer and direct report groups completed the LPIObserver for their respective member of the subject and control groups. Data was gathered at three separate points in the organizational change process.

Support was not found for the hypothesis that leaders experiencing the stress of organizational change will perceive themselves as having lower leadership ability (as measured by the LPI). This finding was consistent with the perceptions provided by the non-leaders (constituents). "The results of the study point to the reality that while stress was present, it exerted little, if any, observable negative effect on how each subject viewed his or her own leadership behavior and on how observers perceived the subjects during the time of organizational change" (33-34).