Looking through the lens of leadership: a constructive developmental approach

Lauren S. Harris (Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Karl W. Kuhnert (Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 8 February 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between leadership development level (LDL) and leadership effectiveness utilizing 360‐degree feedback scores. Researchers examine raters' ability to recognize effective leadership practices using a constructive developmental framework.

Design/methodology/approach

This approach is quantitative and involved data gathered from subject‐object CD interviews and 360‐degree feedback scores collected from individuals enrolled in an executive leadership development program.

Findings

The analysis revealed that LDL predicted leadership effectiveness using the 360‐degree feedback measure across a number of sources including superiors, subordinates, and peers. In addition, researchers reveal that individuals that lead from higher levels are more effective in a number of leadership competencies (e.g. Leading Change, Managing Performance, Creating a Compelling Vision, etc.). Finally, the research demonstrates that superiors and peers can predict leader effectiveness better than subordinates or oneself.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for integrating constructive developmental theory in both the research and practice of leader selection and development is discussed.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first studies to empirically demonstrate the link between leadership development level and leadership effectiveness using the constructive developmental framework.

Keywords

Citation

Harris, L. and Kuhnert, K. (2008), "Looking through the lens of leadership: a constructive developmental approach", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 47-67. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730810845298

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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