Development and validation of a new measure of transformational leadership

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Management Science

First Committee Member

Chester A. Schriesheim - Committee Chair


A phenomenon commonly known as "leadership" has been the focus of investigation for decades. A large volume of research has been conducted, with the various methods typically categorized as either trait, behavioral, or contingency approaches. Recently, however, much of the research in the leadership area focuses on behaviors which result in the exertion of extra effort from followers and a willingness to perform beyond expected levels. This phenomenon has been most commonly labeled "transformational leadership."While many studies have investigated transformational leadership, there appears to be one common problem among them: measurement of the construct. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the evidence related to the construct validity of currently available measures of transformational leadership, and, finding them lacking validity, to then develop and validate a new measure of transformational leadership.To accomplish this objective, theories of transformational leadership are first reviewed to determine behaviors characteristic of transformational leaders. Somewhat surprisingly, the amount of consensus among the theories regarding the behaviors is actually quite high. The behaviors are then summarized and used to examine the content validity of two existing measures, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Bass, 1985a) and the Transformational Leadership Inventory (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990).Additional examinations of the psychometric properties of the two measures are also conducted, including construct validity, criterion-related validity, and internal consistency reliability. Problems with the measures are highlighted. A new measure of transformational leadership is then developed. Items are generated based on theoretical definitions and then assessed for their theoretical dimensionality. New scales, developed from those items which appear to be content valid, are administered to four samples. Two samples are comprised of MBA students, and involve 375 and 117 respondents. The third sample involves 208 employees of a private hospital, and the fourth sample consists of 149 employees of a county police agency. The validity of the new scales is examined through reliability assessments and a preliminary assessment of concurrent validity.


Business Administration, Management; Psychology, Industrial; Psychology, Psychometrics

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