Week4,Principles of Leadership Essay Example

Leadership 4

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Week4, Principles of Leadership

Q1. Comment on the limitations of the questionnaire approach in leadership evaluation

Questionnaire survey research has been the highly utilized method to study the correlation between behavior in leadership and varying antecedents such as attitudes and leader traits or results of this behavior. Conversely, it is not easy to interpret the content of results in the surveys carried out due to some limitations (Bryman 2010). Questionnaires of behavior description are vulnerable to various types of errors and bias. The first error source is the utilization of vague items that can be understood in varying way by varying respondents. Majority of questionnaires on leadership have rigid-response format that needs respondents to think back for a long period and show how much or how often a leader utilized the behavior explained in an item. A correct judgment is hard to make since the respondent might not have detected the behavior at the time it occurred. Additionally, there is response bias in questionnaire items. The respondent might be influenced by implicit theories and stereotypes about what behaviors are desirable and relevant.

Q2. Comment on problems of determining causality (and determining the nature of the causality)

Mostly researchers assume causality emanates from leader behavior to the criterion variable when a positive correlation is found in a study of research. For instance, a relationship between subordinates performance and consideration is mostly interpreted as showing that leaders who are considerate cause subordinates to be more productive and motivated. Conversely, there is possibility that causality is in the opposite direction. The other possibility is that both criterion variables and leader behavior are influenced in similar manner by a third variable. In majority of research, measures of criterion variables and leader behavior are acquired from the same respondents. The correlation will be inflated if the two measures are biased in similar manner. For instance, a highly liked leader will be rated high on both effectiveness and consideration whereas less liked leader will be rated low on the two variables.


Bryman, A. (2010). The SAGE handbook of leadership, London: SAGE Publication Ltd.