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Conjoint analysis is a useful research technique, but has not been used in the leadership area. This study aims to examine its relevance in exploring the trade‐offs followers make about leaders and the value of the leadership attributes examined.
Eight leader attributes were obtained from three focus groups. Past research and a sample of followers indicated their preferences for a number of leader profiles developed from the attributes, as well as assessing their present leaders on the same attributes. This enabled an estimation of the trade‐offs followers made in assessing leaders and the computation of a value “score” for their leader.
The study finds that participants traded off leader attributes sensibly, providing useful information about the attributes' value. Inspiration, trust and communication were the most valued leader attributes. However, most leaders were not viewed positively.
Respondents were participants in development programmes, which may have impacted on the responses, but the results suggested the approach had merit. Research with more general samples of followers and a wider range of leadership topics is needed.
Future development programmes should focus on the “valuable” attributes and organisations also need to consider such attributes when selecting and evaluating leaders.
This paper uses a conjoint approach that has not been used in the leadership area. The results provide additional insights into the way followers view leaders and enabled a leader “score” to be computed, giving insights into the state of leadership within the group from which responses were obtained.
A Crown Court hearing of a charge of applying a false A description under S.2, Trade Descriptions Act, 1968, is given in some detail under Legal Proceedings in this issue of BFJ. It concerns using the word “ham”, ie., the natural leg of a single pig, to various pieces from several pigs, deboned, defatted, “tumbled, massaged and cooked” in a mould shaped to a leg of ham, from which the average purchaser would find it impossible to distinguish. As the defence rightly claimed, this process has been used for at least a couple of decades, and the product forms a sizeable section of the bacon trade. Evidence by prosecution witnesses, experienced shop managers, believed the product to be the genuine “ham”. There is nothing detrimental about the meat, save that it tends to contain an excess of added water, but this applies to many meat products today; or that the manufacturers are setting out to cheat the consumer. What offends is the description given to the product. Manufacture was described in detail—a county trading standards officer inspected the process at the defendant company's Wiltshire factory, witness to the extent of their co‐operation—and was questioned at great length by defending counsel. Specimens of the product were exhibited and the jury were treated to a tasting test—presumably designed to refute prosecution's claim that the meat was of “poor value”. The trial judge said the jury had no doubt been enlightened as to the methods of manufacturing ham. The marketing of the product was also a subject of examination.
Recently at the Westland Helicopters facility at Yeovil Somerset, Rear Admiral Michael F. Simpson RN, Director General Aircraft (Naval), inspected the first production version of the Sea King Mk2 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) helicopter, equipped with the successful THORN EMI Searchwater AEW radar.