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JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY

Vol. 14, No. 3, Spring 2000

A SHORT MEASURE OF
TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Sally A. Carless
Monash University, Caulfield, Australia
Alexander J. Wearing
Leon Mann
University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

ABSTRACT: This study reports the development of a short measure of transforma-


tional leadership: the Global Transformational Leadership scale (GTL). The study
sample wAs 1,440 subordinates who assessed the leader behaviour of 695 branch
managers in a large Australian financial organisation. Exploratory and confirma-
tory factor analysis showed that the GTL measured a single construct of leadership
and had satisfactory reliability. Evidence for the convergent and discriminant
validity is presented. We conclude that the GTL has a number of potential uses
as an assessment and selection tool and in leadership research.

The issue of effective leadership in organisations has been raised by


Conger and Kanungo (1994) in this journal. Leadership skills are taken
into account in the selection, promotion and performance appraisals of
employees (Atwater, Penn, & Rucker, 1991; Bass, 1990b; Howell & Hig-
gins, 1990; Walderman, Bass, & Yammarino, 1993). In recognition of its
importance, organisations typically assist and encourage the development
of employees' leadership skills. Appraisal, evaluation and the development
of leadership skills all require the assessment of leadership behaviour.
Although measures of transformational leadership, such as the Multifac-
tor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ; Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1995), the
Conger-Kanungo scale (Conger & Kanungo, 1994) and the Leadership
Practices Inventory (LPI; Kouzes & Posner, 1990) assess a range of leader
behaviours, these scales are relatively long and therefore time consuming
to complete. It was the aim of this study to develop a short, practical

Address correspondence to Sally A. Carless, Department of Psychology, Monash Univer-


sity, PO Box 197, Caulfield East, Australia 3145; email: Sally.Carless@sci.monash.edu.au.
389 © 2000 Human Sciences Press, Inc.
390 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY

instrument of transformational leadership which is easily administered


and scored yet is also reliable and valid.

TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADER BEHAVIOURS

Podsakoff, McKenzie, Moorman, and Fetter (1990), following a review


of the literature on transformational leadership, concluded that it can be
summarised by six behaviours, i.e., identifying and articulating a vision,
providing an appropriate model, fostering the acceptance of group goals,
high performance expectations, providing individualised support to staff
and intellectual stimulation. We adapted their summary for this research.
Specifically, we distinguished between the leader behaviours of providing
support to staff (Podsakoff et al.) and encouraging their individual devel-
opment. Hence, our list consisted of seven behaviours. We also preferred
the broader concept of charisma in contrast to the narrower concept of
"high performance expectations" (Podsakoff et al.). The latter is usually
considered to be part of charismatic behaviour (Bass, 1985). Accordingly,
we propose that the following behaviours encompass the concept of trans-
formational leadership: (1) communicates a vision, (2) develops staff, (3)
provides support, (4) empowers staff, (5) is innovative, (6) leads by exam-
ple, and (7) is charismatic.

1. Vision
A distinguishing feature of transformational theories of leadership is
that effective leaders create a vision or ideal goal (Bryman, 1992; Conger &
Kanungo, 1988a; Yukl, 1994). Transformational leaders develop an image
of the future of their organisation and communicate this vision to their
subordinates, often by frequent statements. Through the process of com-
municating a vision, the leader conveys a set of values which guide and
motivate employees. At the practical level, a vision provides a common
purpose for employees to work towards and promotes individual behaviour
that is congruent with the leaders' values for the organisation (Bass,
1985; Conger & Kanungo, 1988a; Kouzes & Posner, 1987; Sashkin, 1988;
Riechmann, 1992; Tichy & Devanna, 1986).
Among practising managers there is a widespread belief that a vision
of the future is the greatest competitive advantage a company can have
(Coulson-Thomas & Coe, 1991; Hamel & Prahalad, 1994). Similar re-
search has shown that many managers subscribe to the view that the
ability to create and share a vision is a key quality of leaders (Coulson-
Thomas, Coe, 1991). Interviews with prominent business leaders for the
Karpin Leadership Task Force Inquiry (Industry Task Force on Leader-
S. A. CARLESS, A. J. WEARING, AND L. MANN 391

ship and Management Skills, 1995) indicated that Australian managers


also share the view that vision is an essential quality of an ideal manager
(Wawn, Green & others, Barraclough & Co., 1995).

2. Staff Development
Effective leaders facilitate and encourage the personal development
of their staff (Bass, 1985). They diagnose the needs and abilities of each
staff member and advise and encourage individual development, usually
on a one-to-one basis (Bass, 1985; Nadler & Tushman, 1990). Individual
development includes delegating tasks and responsibilities to followers
to facilitate the development of new skills and to provide challenging
opportunities (Bass & Avolio, 1990). Through delegation a leader conveys
confidence in the abilities of his or her staff to perform effectively
(Nadler & Tushman, 1990).

3. Supportive Leadership
Supportive leadership includes giving positive feedback to staff and
recognising individual achievements. Through the use of supportive lead-
ership, leaders express confidence in the abilities of their staff to perform
effectively and to succeed in achieving challenging goals. It is especially
important that the leader supports staff when difficult and challenging
goals are set (Nadler & Tushman, 1990; Yukl, 1994). Supportive leader-
ship is not only important for the individual, but also the team as a whole
(Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Kouzes and Posner (1987) maintain that
successful leaders not only acknowledge individuals, but also provide
recognition of team achievements and successes. Public recognition of
team work provides evidence that the leader values and supports the
work being undertaken. It also builds commitment to achieving the lead-
er's vision and identification with the team.

4. Empowerment
Effective leaders involve team members in decision making. Such
leaders share power and information with their staff and encourage auton-
omy (Conger & Kanungo, 1988b; Kouzes & Posner, 1987; Larson & La-
Fasto, 1989; Nadler & Tushman, 1990; Sashkin, 1990). They set up policies
and procedures which involve staff in the problem-solving and decision
making of the team. An effective leader empowers team members by
ensuring they have the authority to implement policies and by supporting
members' decisions. Empowerment also involves creating a climate of
392 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY

trust, respect, open communication and cooperation which facilitates a


cooperative, participative group climate (Conger & Kanungo, 1988b;
Riechmann, 1992).

5. Innovative or Lateral Thinking


Effective leaders use innovative, sometimes unconventional strate-
gies to achieve their goals (Bass, 1985; Conger & Kanungo, 1988a;
Kouzes & Posner, 1987; Sashkin, 1988, 1990; Tichy & Devanna, 1986).
Such leaders are willing to take risks to achieve their vision and enjoy
challenging opportunities. Similarly, transformational leaders encourage
their staff to think laterally and regularly give them challenging tasks.
Associated with the development of innovative behaviour is the acceptance
by the leader that mistakes are seen as a learning opportunity.

6. Lead by Example
Transformational leaders display consistency between the views they
articulate and their behaviour. An effective leader clearly communicates
his or her beliefs and values to staff. Leading by example is also referred
to as role modelling (Kouzes & Posner, 1987; Podsakoff, McKenzie, Moor-
man, & Fetter, 1990). Leaders express self-confidence and set an example
for staff that is congruent with the attitudes and values they espouse
(Bass, 1985; Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Conger & Kanungo, 1988a; Kouzes
& Posner, 1987; Shamir, House, & Arthur, 1993). Shamir, House, and
Arthur (1993) summarised this behaviour as "the leader provides an ideal,
a point of reference and focus for followers' emulation and vicarious learn-
ing" (p. 585).

7. Charismatic Leadership
There exists considerable debate about whether charismatic leader-
ship is a distinct and separate transformational leader behaviour. Bass
(1985, 1992) proposed that the most important quality of a transforma-
tional leader is charismatic leadership. Charismatic leaders are perceived
as trustworthy, highly competent and worthy of respect (Avolio & Bass,
1990). Through charismatic leadership, the follower is inspired to height-
ened levels of motivation and performance in support of the organisational
goals. Bass and his colleagues posit that charisma is an essential transfor-
mational leader behaviour. An alternate view is that charisma is an attri-
bute followers make of their leader (Conger & Kanungo, 1988a).1
It is acknowledged that the term charismatic leadership is also used by some authors
as a generic term to describe a style of leadership, e.g., House, Woycke, and Fodor, 1988;
Nadler and Tushman, 1990. In these instances the authors have used the term as an
alternate to transformational leadership. Hence, we have assumed that use of the term in
this context does not represent another approach to defining charismatic leadership.
S. A. CARLESS, A. J. WEARING, AND L. MANN 393

Research by Bass and his colleagues indicated that charisma is the


most important component of transformational leadership (Bass, 1992;
Yammarino & Bass, 1990). The evidence suggests that charismatic leader-
ship is an important predictor of leader effectiveness (Seltzer & Bass,
1990), work performance of managers (Hater & Bass, 1988) and business
unit performance (Avolio & Howell, 1992; Howell & Avolio, 1993). There-
fore, in this study charismatic leadership was included as a component
of transformational leadership.

MEASUREMENT OF TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP

A brief, reliable and valid scale would have substantial utility value
if a broad measure of transformational leadership was required for re-
search or applied purposes. Based on the leader behaviours described
above, items were written to capture each of the seven leader behaviours.
These were: (1) Communicates a clear and positive vision of the future,
(2) treats staff as individuals, supports and encourages their development,
(3) gives encouragement and recognition to staff, (4) fosters trust, involve-
ment and co-operation among team members, (5) encourages thinking
about problems in new ways and questions assumptions, (6) is clear about
his/her values and practises what he/she preaches, and (7) instills pride
and respect in others and inspires me by being highly competent. It can
be seen that some of the items use a single omnibus statement to represent
quite complex behaviours. We took the approach of using broad statements
because we were interested in developing a brief measure consistent with
theoretical conceptualisations of transformational leadership. A number
of the notionally distinct behaviours include a cluster of highly interre-
lated behaviours (e.g. Conger & Kanungo, 1988a; Kouzes & Posner, 1987).
Together the seven items were named the Global Transformational Lead-
ership scale (GTL) as they were designed to represent a global measure
of transformational leadership.

METHOD

Participants and Procedure


The subject sample was 695 branch managers of a retail bank in
Australia. District Managers and subordinates of the branch managers
were invited to rate their manager. Data were obtained from 1,440 subor-
dinates (response rate: 54%) and 66 District Managers (response rate:
100%) who worked in Australia for an international banking organisation.
Country and city branch employees in all Australian states were surveyed.
The four most senior subordinates in a branch were sent a letter outlining
394 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY

the purpose of the study and inviting them to participate. The most senior
staff were selected on the assumption that they worked most closely with
their manager. It was reasoned that subordinates who worked most closely
with the branch manager would have the greatest number of opportunities
to observe performance and would be more acquainted with his or her
leadership behaviour. Participants were provided with a self-addressed
envelope and asked to return their completed questionnaires direct to the
researchers.
Of the 695 branch managers in the study sample, 139 (20%) were
female and 556 (80%) were male. The mean age of the branch managers
was 41 years (SD = 7.81) and their ages ranged from 23 to 58. The mean
length of time with the bank was 22 years (SD) = 9.14). The mean number
of staff they managed was 11 and the range was from 2 to 54. On average,
two subordinates per branch manager responded. The majority of subordi-
nates were female (69%). The mean age of the subordinates was 31.2
years (SD = 7.92) and their ages ranged from 20 to 58 years. The average
length of time the subordinate had worked for the bank was 9 years (SD
= 6.61) and the average length of time that they had worked with their
current branch manager was 1.7 years (SD = 1.53).
District Managers are responsible for the effective operation of a
cluster of branches, usually 10 to 25 branch outlets. The mean number
of branches they managed was 16. A small proportion of District Managers
were female (5%), the majority were male (95%). Their mean age was 46
years (SD = 6.17), the range was from 31 to 55 years. The average length
of time with the bank was 26 years (SD = 10.36) and the mean length of
time in their current position was 3 years (SD = 2.89).

Measures
Transformational Leadership. In addition to the GTL (seven items), the
Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) (Kouzes & Posner, 1990), and the
Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ; Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1995)
were administered to assess the leadership behaviour of the branch man-
ager. The GTL was completed by the District Manager and the subordi-
nates. The LPI and MLQ was completed only by the subordinates.
The LPI (Kouzes & Posner, 1990) measures five leadership practices
identified by Kouzes and Posner (1987): Challenging the Process (alpha
= .81), Inspiring a Shared Vision (alpha = .90), Enabling Others to Act
(alpha = .89), Modelling the Way (alpha = .86) and Encouraging the Heart
(alpha = .94). Six items are used to measure each of the five scales, the
total number of items is 30. The MLQ Form 5X assesses three dimensions
of transformational leadership: Charismatic leadership (8 items), Individ-
ual Consideration (9 items), and Intellectual Stimulation (10 items). The
MLQ has 27 items. The alpha coefficients were .91 for Charismatic leader-
S. A. CARLESS, A. J. WEARING, AND L. MANN 395

ship, .93 for Individual Consideration, and .92 for Intellectual Stimulation.
District Manager ratings of their branch managers on the GTL had an
alpha coefficient of .90.
The response format was standardised for the leadership instru-
ments. A 5-point Likert scale ranging from "Rarely or never" to "Very
frequently, if not always" was employed. This was slightly different from
the original format for the MLQ ("not at all," to "frequently, if not always")
but was necessary to ensure a standard response format for the items.
Instructions to employees asked them to rate their branch manager "in
terms of how frequently he or she engages in the behaviour described."
The instructions asked raters to be realistic and answer in terms of how
the manager typically behaves.
Manager Performance. A work performance scale was devised by Carless
(1995) to assess perceptions of the managers' quality of work, productivity
and adaptability. Items were based on the conceptual work of Mott (1972).
A sample item is "He or she produces high quality work." The response
format was a five-point Likert scale ranging from "Rarely or Never" to
"Very Frequently or Always." The items were summed for a score of
Manager Performance. A high score indicated excellent performance. The
alpha coefficients were .90 for the subordinates' ratings and .87 for the
District Managers' ratings. The seven items were tested on a pilot sample
of 77 respondents. Exploratory factor analysis indicated that the items
formed a single construct. The single factor structure found in the pilot
sample was replicated in this study.
Leader Effectiveness. A five item scale was used to measure subordinate
perceptions of the effectiveness of their manager. The global items were
devised by Ragins (1989) to measure "perceived leader effectiveness." A
sample item is "My leader displays strong leadership abilities." A high
score indicated a high level of perceptions of effective leadership. The
response format was a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 "Strongly
Disagree" to 7 "Strongly Agree." The coefficient alpha was .90. Ragins
reported a strong correlation between the global Leader Effectiveness
scale and 46 behaviourally based items of leader effectiveness (Ragins,
1989) suggesting that the scale provides a reasonable index of effective
leader behaviour. Factor analysis confirmed the single factor structure
reported by Ragins.
Subordinate Extra Effort. This scale measures the motivation subordi-
nates attribute to their leader. For example, "He/she motivates me to
work hard on the job." Four items form the scale. One item was from the
MLQ Form 5X (Bass & Avolio, 1990), while the other three items were
from the manager effectiveness scale (Tjosvold, Andrews, & Struthers,
1991) and were slightly adapted. The extra effort scale is similar in mean-
396 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY

ing to Bass's (1985) extra effort scale. However, the advantage of the
present scale is that it more specifically measures effort as it relates to
job performance. The response format was the same as for the leadership
items, i.e., a 5-point Likert frequency response. Exploratory factor analy-
sis indicated the items formed a single factor. The alpha coefficient of the
scale was .86.

RESULTS

Factor Analysis
Principal components factor analysis was used to assess the factor
structure of the GTL. Cattell's scree test and Kaiser's criterion clearly
showed that the items assessed one underlying dimension of leadership.
The eigenvalue was 5.0 which explained 71% of the variance. The explor-
atory factor loadings are reported in Table 1. The factor loadings ranged
from .78 to .88 with a mean of .84 (SD = .05). As there exists widespread
debate about whether principal components or common factor analysis is
the appropriate method of extraction (Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black,

Table 1
Factor Loadings and Standardised Item Reliabilities Obtained from
Exploratory (EFA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) of the GTL

Dimension of Leadership and Items EFA CFA

1. Vision
communicates a clear and positive vision of the future 78 72
2. Staff Development
treats staff as individuals, supports and encourages their
development 88 87
3. Supportive Leadership
gives encouragement and recognition to staff 84 82
4. Empowerment
fosters trust, involvement and cooperation among team
members 89 88
5. Innovative Thinking
encourages thinking about problems in new ways and questions
assumptions 80 74
6. Lead by Example
is clear about his/her values and practises what he/she preaches 80 75
7. Charisma
instills pride and respect in others and inspires me by being
highly competent 89 88
N =1432
Note: Decimal points omitted
S. A. CARLESS, A. J. WEARING, AND L. MANN 397

1995) a second factor analysis was performed. A maximum likelihood


extraction confirmed the finding of a single underlying factor.
Exploratory factor analysis has traditionally been employed by lead-
ership researchers as a tool to determine the number of underlying dimen-
sions in a data set (e.g., Hemphill & Coons, 1957; Kouzes & Posner, 1990).
However, this approach fails to take into account measurement error
(Crocker & Algina, 1986; Cuttance, 1987; Rubio & Gillespie, 1995). An-
other approach is confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). CFA: (a) provides
a formal test of how well the observed data fits a theoretical model (Gerb-
ing & Hamilton, 1996; Stevens, 1995); (b) measurement error is taken
into account; and (c) competing models can be compared (Cuttance, 1987;
Bollen, 1989; Griffin & Barlow, 1994; Judd, Jessor, & Donovan, 1986;
Loehlin, 1992). Hence, following the recommendations of Gerbing and
Hamilton (1996) that CFA should be used to evaluate a model identified
by exploratory factor analysis, the next step in our analyses was to use
CFA to confirm the single factor structure of the GTL.
The computer program LISREL 8 (Joreskog & Sorbom, 1993) used
to analyse the seven GTL items. A covariance matrix was used as the
input data (Cudeck, 1989) and the method of estimation was maximum
likelihood. Although the likelihood ratio test statistic (reported here as a
chi-square statistic) provides the only true parametric test of a model's
fit (Cuttance & Ecob, 1987), this statistic is strongly influenced by sample
size and departures from multivariate normality. Consequently, Browne
and Cudeck (1993) argue that the root mean square error of approximation
(RMSEA) provides a better indicator of fit. Recently, Gerbing and Ander-
son (1992) have argued that the relative noncentrality index (RNI) (Mc-
Donald and Marsh, 1990) provides the best incremental fit index. The
RNI is unaffected by sample size and compares the model under investiga-
tion with a null model that assumes no relationship between the observed
variables. The standardised root mean square residual (RMSQ) can be
used to compare the relative fit of a model (Bollen, 1989; Joreskog &
Sorbom, 1993b).
The goodness-of-fit statistics for the GTL were: chi-square = 243, d.f.
= 14, p = .001, RMSEA = .11, RMSR = .03 and RNI = .97. The findings
indicate there is a good fit between the observed variance-covariance
matrice and the tested model. The RNI exceeds the minimum acceptable
value of .90 for acceptable models (Bagozzi & Heartherton, 1994). The
standardised item loadings for the seven-item model are presented in
Table 1. The loadings range from .72 to .88 and the mean is .81 (SD =
.07). It can be seen that all items are reasonable to strong indicators of
the construct. The items that share the most variance with the single
factor and therefore define the factor are empowerment, staff development
and charisma.
Bagozzi and Heartherton (1994) recommend that in addition to the
398 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY

goodness of fit statistics, the reliability and average amount of variance


extracted (AVE) should be examined. Using the Bagozzi and Heartherton
formula, the reliability of the GTL was calculated to be .93. Next, the
parameter estimates were used to calculate the average variance ex-
tracted (AVE) by the single factor model (Bagozzi & Heartherton, 1995).
Our calculations of AVE exceed the minimum acceptable value of .50 for
a satisfactory measurement model (e.g., Fornell & Larker, 1981) (AVE =
.67). These findings provide strong evidence that the seven-item GTL is
highly reliable.

Convergent Validity
Convergent validity of the GTL was examined by calculating correla-
tions between the GTL and alternate measures of transformational leader-
ship, i.e., the MLQ and the LPI. It was hypothesised that the GTL items
should differentially correlate with the sub-scales of the MLQ and the
LPI that were conceptually similar (Messick, 1989). The following is a
list of the behaviours measured by the GTL and in parentheses are the
sub-scales of the LPI and MLQ which are similar in meaning: (1) vision
(LPI-Inspiring a Shared Vision), (2) staff development (MLQ-Individual
Consideration), (3) supportive leadership (LPI-Encouraging the Heart),
(4) empowerment (LPI-Enabling Others), (5) innovative and lateral think-
ing (LPI-Challenging the Process and MLQ-Intellectual Stimulation), (6)
lead by example (LPI-Modelling the Way) and (7) charismatic leadership
(MLQ-Charisma). Evidence of strong correlations with the GTL and the
similar sub-scales of the LPI and MLQ and weaker correlations between
the other sub-scales, will be taken to support the convergent validity of
the GTL. Table 2 contains the correlations between the GTL items and
these sub-scales. Underlining is used to indicate the correlation between
an item and the construct it represents.
It can be seen that for each item the strongest relationship is with
the construct to which it is conceptually similar. The correlations range
from .71 to .87. The exception to this pattern is our item 3, lead by example,
which correlates equally with Modelling the Way (LPI) and Charisma
(MLQ). Charismatic leadership has been defined as providing an ideal
role model (Conger & Kanungo, 1988a) and worthy of respect (Bass, 1985).
Thus, while item 3 was hypothesised to represent Modelling the Way, the
findings suggest it has similar meaning to Charisma. The pattern of high
correlations with the hypothesised constructs provides evidence that the
GTL corresponds to other measures of transformational leadership.
Table 2 also reports the correlations between total GTL score and
scores on the LPI and MLQ (right hand column). The correlations range
from .76 to .88 with a mean of .83 (SD = .04). The high correlations between
400 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY

the GTL and the LPI and MLQ provide evidence that the GTL has strong
convergent validity. The next step in the analyses was to examine the
discriminant validity of the GTL.

Discriminant Validity
Discriminant validity was demonstrated by comparing groups of man-
agers who would be expected to have different scores on the GTL (Allen &
Yen, 1979; Cohen, Swerdlik, & Smith, 1992; Messick, 1989). Consistent
with theories of transformational, it was hypothesised that scores on the
GTL would be different for managers who varied in the extent to which
they: (a) elicit extra effort from subordinates (i.e., they inspire subordi-
nates to work harder than is normally expected of them), (b) show leader
effectiveness, and (c) demonstrate high quality work performance. Follow-
ing the criticism that leadership research has relied too heavily on single-
source data (normally the practice of relying on ratings from one group
of people) (Bryman, 1992; Schaubroeck & Kuehn, 1992; Yukl, 1994), we
obtained ratings from multiple sources: District Managers (superiors of
the managers) and subordinates.
T-tests were used to examine whether the GTL discriminates between
contrasting groups. The following groups were created: high and low sub-
ordinate extra effort; high and weak performing managers; and, more
effective versus less effective managers. The mean was used to split the
sample into two contrasting groups ("high" and "low"). As it was not
possible to split the groups evenly, the sample size of each group is in-
cluded in Table 3 along with the results of the t-test analyses. In the
analyses, subordinate ratings of the managers leadership behaviour were
paired with District Manager ratings of manager performance, and Dis-
trict Manager ratings of the managers GTL were coupled with subordinate
ratings of manager performance, leader effectiveness and subordinate
extra effort.
The t-test results show that the GTL discriminates significantly be-
tween all of the contrasted groups: (a) highly motivated subordinates
compared with less motivated subordinates; (b) high and poor performing
managers (based on District Manager and subordinate ratings); and (c)
highly effective leaders compared with less effective leaders. These find-
ings provide substantial evidence of the discriminant validity of the GTL.

Descriptive Statistics and Alpha Coefficients


The possible range in scores on the GTL is 7 to 35. The mean score
was 25.00 and the standard deviation was 6.76. These statistics indicate
that there is adequate dispersion of scores on the GTL. Cronbach's alpha
S. A. CARLESS, A. J. WEARING, AND L. MANN 401

Table 3
T-Test Results Comparing Managers' Scores on the GTL

Managers' GTL Scores

Dependent Variable and Mean


Group (rating source) N (rating source) SD T-value

Subordinate extra effort 26.31


(Subordinate) High 371 (District Managers) 4.87 5.56***
Low 310 24.04 5.65
Manager performance 26.31
(District Managers) High 358 (Subordinate) 5.39 5.47***
Low 320 23.85 6.21
Manager performance 26.63
(Subordinate) High 352 (District Managers) 5.06 7.06***
Low 329 23.82 5.29
Leader effectiveness 26.75
(Subordinate) High 349 (District Manager) 4.90 7.57***
Low 336 23.76 5.4

Note: ***p = <.001.

was calculated as .93. The high alpha coefficient further supports the
conclusion that the GTL is a reliable measure of transformational leader-
ship.

DISCUSSION

Evidence reported in this study has shown that the GTL has high
reliability and assesses a single global construct of transformational lead-
ership. Initial support was found for the convergent and discriminant
validity of the GTL. Scores on the GTL provide an indication of the practise
of transformational leadership, that is, the extent to which a manager is
visionary, innovative, supportive, participative and worthy of respect.
High scores suggest the manager makes extensive use of transformational
leadership, low scores are associated with infrequent or rare use of trans-
formational leadership. The GTL can be completed by either a subordinate
or a direct superior.
We found that total score on the GTL correlated strongly with the
LPI and MLQ. In addition, the items of the GTL correlated differentially
with the sub-scales of the LPI and MLQ, suggesting that the GTL provides
an assessment of the seven hypothesised transformational leader behav-
iours. In contrast to the LPI, which measures five transformational leader-
ship behaviours, and the MLQ which measures three, the GTL measures
402 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY

a broader range of transformational leader behaviour. When a global


assessment of leadership is required, the GTL is an alternate short mea-
sure of transformational leadership.
An important feature of this study was the use of two sources of data
to test the discriminant validity of the GTL. Scores on the GTL were
shown to successfully discriminate between selected groups of managers,
i.e., high and weak performing managers, effective and less effective man-
agers, and highly motivating and less motivating managers.
These preliminary findings suggest the GTL may be useful in a vari-
ety of situations. It could be used as an assessment tool to gather informa-
tion for performance appraisal reviews. Although traditionally, superiors
have been responsible for evaluating work performance, many organisa-
tions are starting to include subordinates in the process (Gome, 1994).
The GTL could be used as a diagnostic tool, for example, to identify
the development needs of a manager. As the GTL is quick and easy to
administer, managers could use it to obtain feedback on their leadership
behaviour from their staff. Preliminary findings indicate that feedback
from subordinates is received positively by managers (Bernardin, Dah-
mus, & Redmon, 1993) and can result in improved performance (Atwater,
Roush, & Fischthall, 1995; Hegarty, 1974; Smither et al., 1995). Based
on the view that leadership skills should be taken into account when
selecting and promoting managers, the GTL could be used as a selection
tool. Preliminary findings indicate that the GTL discriminates between
better performing and weaker performing managers. A substantial advan-
tage of GTL is that it takes less than one minute to complete. Finally,
the GTL could be used by researchers to provide a broad indication of
leadership behaviour.
The GTL provides a broad assessment of transformational leadership.
It is a short scale that is easy to administer and score. Initial evidence
indicates that it has satisfactory reliability and construct validity. The
reported high correlations between the GTL and other measures of trans-
formational leadership suggest that the GTL is an alternative short mea-
sure of transformational leadership with a broad range of potential.

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