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Leadership competencies across organizational levels: a test of the pipeline model

Guangrong Dai (Korn/Ferry Leadership & Talent Consulting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
King Yii Tang (Korn/Ferry Leadership & Talent Consulting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
Kenneth P. De Meuse (Korn/Ferry Leadership & Talent Consulting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 12 April 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to test the pipeline model of leadership development by investigating how the competency profile change across position levels.

Design/methodology/approach

The skill and importance ratings in leadership competencies were compared between four position levels. The data were from an archive 360 degree feedback (n=770). Six SMEs were also employed to rate the importance of the competencies.

Findings

The study found that the difference between two positions in terms of the relative importance of the competencies increases as the organizational hierarchical distance between the two positions increases. Comparing the skill ratings yielded similar results. Further, the correlation between the skill and importance ratings for the same position level was higher than correlations of the two types of ratings for different position levels.

Research limitations/implications

The study discusses the implications of the research findings in the context of leadership development and succession management.

Practical implications

One of the essential tasks in a succession system is to clearly define critical leadership skills at different levels of management. By defining the leadership pipeline, companies will be able to get their best people the right developmental experiences to help them transition from one position level to another.

Originality/value

The paper provides empirical support for the pipeline model of leadership skill requirement across the organizational hierarchy.

Keywords

Citation

Dai, G., Yii Tang, K. and De Meuse, K.P. (2011), "Leadership competencies across organizational levels: a test of the pipeline model", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 366-380. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621711111126837

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited