Academic journal article SA Journal of Human Resource Management

Assessing the Psychometric Properties of the Revised and Abbreviated Self-Leadership Questionnaires

Academic journal article SA Journal of Human Resource Management

Assessing the Psychometric Properties of the Revised and Abbreviated Self-Leadership Questionnaires

Article excerpt

Introduction

Orientation

According to Houghton, Dawley and DiLiello (2012), in these present times of economic uncertainty and fierce competition, many firms are shifting away from a traditional top-heavy leadership paradigm to embrace a new model of leadership that involves empowering employees at all organisational levels to greater responsibility for their own work-related behaviours and actions (Houghton et al., 2012).

Ugurluoglu, Saygili, Ozer and Santas (2013) are of the opinion that, under today's conditions, the most appropriate leader is the self-leader who also leads others towards self-leadership. Self-leadership (the process of influencing oneself to perform more effectively) has attracted a significant amount of attention over the past two decades (Neck & Houghton, 2006), as is evident in the dozens of academic articles written on this issue during this period (e.g. Alves, Lovelace, Manz & Matsypura, 2006; D'Intino, Goldsby, Houghton & Neck, 2007; Dion, 2012; Dolbier, Soderstrom & Steinhardt, 2001; Hauschildt & Konradt, 2012; Ho & Nesbit, 2013; Javadi, Rezaee & Salehzadeh, 2013; Malmir & Azzizadeh, 2013; Manz & Neck, 1999; Neck & Houghton, 2006; Norris, 2008; Prussia, Anderson & Manz, 1998; Sahin, 2008; Segon, 2011; Turkoz, Mutlu, Tabak & Erdogan, 2013; Van Zyl, 2008, 2012).

Houghton et al. (2012) indicate that, initially, most academic articles on self-leadership focused on conceptual research. Since the publication of the Revised Self-Leadership Questionnaire (RSLQ; Houghton & Neck, 2002), however, more empirical studies have been conducted (e.g. Sahin, 2008; Ugurluoglu et al., 2013). Most of these studies were conducted in the USA, Europe and Asia, whilst only a single study by Mahembe, Engelbrecht and De Kock (2013) was conducted in South Africa. This study was applied to young adults studying full time at a South African university, not to working adults. It is, therefore, questionable whether the second-order structure that Mahembe et al. (2013) provided in their research would be replicable on a sample of working adults in the South African working context. Furthermore, the application of confirmatory factor analysis on the second-order factors of the RSLQ could confirm the construct validity of the RSLQ, specifically for research participants in a South African working context (Mahembe et al., 2013).

Another relevant study, by Houghton et al. (2012), focused on the development and validation of a nine-item abbreviated version (ASLQ) of the 35-item RSLQ. The applicability of this version, however, has not been tested on a South African working population before.

Purpose

The current study focuses on the assessment of the psychometric properties of the revised (RSLQ) and abbreviated (ASLQ) versions of the Self-Leadership Questionnaire for a working population in South Africa. Self-leadership should have a wider socio-economic relevance in developing countries such as South Africa, because it is a competency that could prove critical in transformation on an individual, group, organisational and societal level (Mahembe et al., 2013). Yet, not much South African-related research on self-leadership (especially regarding its measurement within the working context) has been done (Van Zyl, 2009). Furthermore, no research focusing on the applicability of the ASLQ within any South African context has been done previously. Against this background, the primary research aim of this study was to assess the psychometric properties of the RSLQ and ASLQ for a sample of working adults.

More specifically, the following will be evaluated (based on a working population in the South African context):

* The goodness-of-fit associated with the various conceptualisations of the RSLQ (35 items) using a sample of working adults.

* The degree to which the RSLQ consists of a strong general factor, using a sample of working adults. …

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