ArticlePDF Available

Self-awareness and the evolution of leaders: The need for a better measure of self-awareness

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

A growing body of empirical research suggests that self-awareness is associated with successful leadership. Although self-awareness research has generated a number of scales to measure self-awareness, none have done so with the explicit focus of leadership. The present research is a summary of three studies designed to develop and begin validation for a scale to measure self-awareness in the context of leadership and leader development. The result of Study 1 and 2 was a 54-item self-awareness scale. A confirmatory factor analysis provided evidence for a marginal fit. Predictive validity was assessed in Study 3 by looking for associations between self-awareness and outcomes from an MBA capstone course designed in part to improve communication, foster teamwork, and increase self-awareness. Self-awareness was the independent variable. The dependent variables were the graded, videotaped outcomes of two types of structured role-playing exercises designed to meet course objectives and involved students working in dyads or in small groups. Positive associations were found between the new scale and some group context measures of performance, but not for the dyad measures. Implications and suggestions for future research are provided.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 2
Self-Awareness and the Evolution of Leaders:
The Need for a Better Measure of Self-Awareness
Greg C. Ashley
Bellevue University
Roni Reiter-Palmon
University of Nebraska at Omaha
ABSTRACT
A growing body of empirical research suggests that self-awareness is associated with successful
leadership. Although self-awareness research has generated a number of scales to measure self-
awareness, none have done so with the explicit focus of leadership. The present research is a summary
of three studies designed to develop and begin validation for a scale to measure self-awareness in the
context of leadership and leader development. The result of Study 1 and 2 was a 54-item self-awareness
scale. A confirmatory factor analysis provided evidence for a marginal fit. Predictive validity was assessed
in Study 3 by looking for associations between self-awareness and outcomes from an MBA capstone
course designed in part to improve communication, foster teamwork, and increase self-awareness. Self-
awareness was the independent variable. The dependent variables were the graded, videotaped
outcomes of two types of structured role-playing exercises designed to meet course objectives and
involved students working in dyads or in small groups. Positive associations were found between the new
scale and some group context measures of performance, but not for the dyad measures. Implications and
suggestions for future research are provided.
Introduction
The construct of self-awareness has been taken up by a wide array of academic disciplines, suggesting
that self-awareness may explain variance in a number of domains. Although definitions vary, self-
awareness is an inwardly-focused evaluative process in which individuals make self/standard
comparisons with the goal of better self-knowledge and improvement. The scope of the present writing is
focused on how self-awareness may be related to the context of leadership, specifically leader
development. As will be discussed, empirical support is mounting suggesting that self-awareness is
related to leadership such that leaders higher in self-awareness tend to get better outcomes than those
with lower levels of self-awareness. Given the increasing attention self-awareness processes are getting
from leadership theorists, a scale to measure self-awareness may be of value. As such, the specific
purpose of the present writing is to discuss the development of a scale to measure self-awareness.
Historical Relevance of Self-Awareness
Humans have a unique capacity to contemplate not only their status quo, but also their ideal status quo.
This capacity is underpinned by the ability to imagine a future that is better than the past, evaluate
alternatives, identify problems, and a yearning to progress toward an ideal. Intertwined are processes of
self-reflexive thought, self-examination, and introspection. All of the above broadly circumscribe the
construct of self-awareness, and although conceptualizations of self-awareness do vary, at their core is
an ability to focus attention inward and study oneself as though looking in a mirror.
The relevance of self-awareness cannot be overstated. In fact, Leary and Buttermore (2003) theorize that
the capacity for self-reflection may have been one of essential drivers for the remarkably rapid
appearance of human civilization 40,000 - 60,000 years ago. Leary and Buttermore attribute the explosive
growth in human culture and technological advances during this time to a nascent capacity to think
symbolically and abstractly about oneself and to ponder the changes required to move toward a better
future.
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 3
Not surprisingly, there has been a long-standing and cross-cultural interest in self-awareness by
philosophers, social scientists, clinicians, and more recently, leadership theorists. Writings on the self are
known from China as early as 500 BC and from India as early as 600 BC, to name just a few (Leary &
Tangney, 2003). More modern seminal treatments of self-awareness by psychologists and sociologists
can be seen in the works of James (1890), Mead (1934), Cooley (1956), and Duval and Wicklund (1972).
Although each of these modern writers has a nuanced view of self-awareness, a common theme
emerges suggesting that individuals view themselves as both observers and subjects of observation.
Moreover, individuals often use a reflective process whereby they imagine themselves from the vantage
point of another with the goal of comparing self-evaluations against others’ evaluations. Specifically,
Mead and Duval and Wicklund theorize that individuals have a motivated desire for accurate assessment
of self-worth or progress against a goal or standard. As such, the effective use of self-awareness
processes would seem to be of great relevance to leadership scholars.
The discussion will unfold as follows. First, a short discussion on how self-awareness has been
conceptualized, and specifically how it might be conceptualized in a leadership context. Second, a case
will be made as to why we should care about self-awareness, including evidence showing the relation
between self-awareness and leader outcomes, and also why we need a new measure. Third, a
discussion regarding the construction of a self-awareness measure, including psychometric properties.
Lastly, a study demonstrating partial support for the predictive validity of the present measure.
What Is Self-Awareness and Why Do We Care?
Various conceptualizations of self-awareness have emerged over time with newer formulations often
adding nuances on previous versions. As a starting point, consider Duval and Wicklund’s (1972) theory of
objective self-awareness (OSA). According to original OSA theory, individuals periodically focus attention
inward and begin a comparison process to assess themselves against a salient standard (e.g., a behavior
or progress toward a goal). OSA predicted the likely outcome of such a comparison would be the
identification of a self/standard gap, which in turn would lead to negative affect. The self/standard
comparison involved processes of introspection and self-evaluation (Ickes, Wicklund, & Ferris, 1973).
In one of the first attempts to develop a scale to measure self awareness, Fenigstein, Scheier, and Buss
(1975) suggested the following dimensions: “(a) preoccupation with past, present, and future behaviors;
(b) sensitivity to inner feelings; (c) recognition of one’s positive and negative attributes; (d) introspective
behavior; (e) a tendency to picture or imagine oneself; (f) awareness of one’s physical appearance and
presentation; and (g) concern over the appraisal of others” (p. 523). A three-dimensional structure
emerged in the final scale and the dimensions were labeled as private self-consciousness (e.g., “I reflect
about myself a lot”), public self-consciousness (e.g., “I’m concerned about what others think of me”), and
social anxiety (e.g., “Large groups make me nervous”).
Several researchers used the Fenigstein et al. (1975) scale as a departure point for revisions regarding
self-awareness dimensionality. Burnkrant and Page (1984), for example, theorized that the private self-
consciousness factor was better specified as a two-dimensional construct containing dimensions labeled
as self-reflection and internal state awareness. The latter included “such feelings as tranquility, elation,
and depression as well as such bodily events as heartbeat and breathing” (p. 631). Additional analyses
by Burnkrant and Page using different participant pools demonstrated better fit using the revised
dimensionality than Fenigstein et al’s. model.
As can be discerned from the discussion thus far, earlier researchers considered self-awareness
processes as predominantly cognitive in nature. Trapnell and Campbell (1999) viewed this as a gap and
believed that in addition to cognition, it was also necessary to consider motivational and emotional
influences. In other words, the reasons for engaging in self-awareness were important as well. Trapnell
and Campbell note that individuals may increase levels of self-awareness based either on neurotic-like
tendencies (e.g., anxiety) or for purposes of gaining self-knowledge or personal growth.
As part of their justification for including motivational/emotional influences, Trapnell and Campbell (1999)
cited a large body of research suggesting that high levels of self-awareness paradoxically can result in
either good or bad outcomes (see also Pyszczynski, Hamilton, Greenberg, & Becker, 1991). On the
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 4
positive side, high self-awareness has been shown to have psychotherapeutic effects and enables
individuals to better adjust to their environment. On the contrary, high self-awareness also is associated
with a number of maladies like depression and anxiety. According to Trapnell and Campbell’s line of
reasoning, outcomes are influenced by the motivational disposition for engaging in self-awareness.
Hence, research by Trapnell and Campbell suggests the private self-consciousness factor is better
viewed as two dimensions, which they labeled rumination and reflection. In summary, the review of
literature above leaves open the possibility that self-awareness processes are an amalgam of both
cognitive and affective influences.
An additional divergence in the way self-awareness has been conceptualized concerns the trait versus
state distinction. Fenigstein et al. (1975) thought self-awareness could be both, labeling the trait form as
self-consciousness and the state form as self-awareness. Other self-awareness researchers have used
mirrors and cameras to manipulate (i.e., increase) levels of self-awareness, thus implying that self-
awareness has state-like properties. Self-awareness also has been conceptualized as a skill (Church,
1997b) which suggests that interventions could be used to increase self-awareness. Self-awareness also
has been viewed as a cognitive schema (Church, 1997a) where self-awareness outcomes might vary
based on context or relationships.
The construct of self-awareness also has been included as part of the dimensionality of two different
conceptualizations of emotional intelligence (i.e., Dulewicz & Higgs, 2000; Goleman, 2004). Of note is
that these authors tend to view emotional intelligence as a competency that can be learned and which
explains variance in leader outcomes. As pertaining to the specific dimension of self-awareness, a
competency-based view is consistent with the cognitive and state distinctions discussed above, thus
suggesting trainability.
Some researchers have given less priority to teasing out nuances in self-awareness conceptualizations,
but rather were more focused on self-awareness outcomes. In such instances, self-awareness often has
been defined simply as self/other agreement (e.g., Van Velsor, Taylor, & Leslie, 1993). For example,
those leaders whose self-report ratings of performance are similar to performance ratings ascribed to
them by others are defined operationally as having high levels of self-awareness. Using this operational
standard, a large body of empirical research has accrued suggesting those managers with high levels of
self-awareness tend to have better performance outcomes than those with lower levels of self-awareness
(e.g., Atwater, Ostroff, Yammarino, & Fleenor, 1998; Bass & Yammarino, 1991; Furnham & Stringfield,
1994). Moreover, congruence between subordinates’ evaluation of their manager and the managers’ self-
evaluation may lead to increased levels of subordinate satisfaction (Wexley, Alexander, Greenawalt, &
Couch, 1980). The gestalt of self/other congruence research suggests that increased congruence
between self versus other ratings is amenable to interventions, for example, by increasing salience on the
value of feedback.
Taken as a whole, the preponderance of literature discussed above tends to suggest that self-awareness
is trainable. To the extent that self-awareness might be increased via an intervention, a new scale to
measure self-awareness designed specifically for the context of leadership may be useful for the study of
leadership in general and leader development in specific.
Why Do We Need Another Scale?
A new scale is needed because existing scales are too parsimonious, do not speak to the complexity of
self-awareness processes, and only partially tap into the dimensionality of self-awareness that operates in
a leadership context. As such, each of the existing scales discussed above has desirable aspects but is
not complete. For example, while the Fenigstein, Scheier, and Buss (1975) scale does recognize the
notions of self-reflection and attention to inner thoughts and feelings, nothing is considered regarding the
reasons for engaging in self-awareness (i.e., motivational factors), nor is there any discussion where or
how standards are developed or accepted. In like manner, the Burnkrant and Page (1984) and Trapnell
and Campbell (1999) views of self-awareness are mute on the topic of standard setting, do not provide a
framework for why self-examination begins, and do not consider an individual’s desire to detect
self/standard gaps.
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 5
In the leadership context, the effectiveness of self-awareness outcomes turns on developing or accepting
specific standards along with a strong desire for accurate self-evaluation. Regarding standard setting, a
noteworthy shortcoming of existing scales is lack of recognition that standards may be nuanced beyond
the self by multiple relevant stakeholders. The acceptance of any standard, internal or external, requires
an understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and this self-knowledge is not addressed in
existing scales. Moreover, because standard setting may in part be exogenous to the individual, it makes
sense that additional attention to accuracy is warranted because the foci of evaluation likewise are
external to the individual. The ability to integrate both internal and external standards and still make
accurate self/standard comparisons may explain why research related to self/other congruence has noted
positive outcomes for leaders high in self-awareness.
An additional gap with existing self-awareness measures concerns the way in which current
conceptualizations of self-awareness deal with the presence of affect. While some existing
conceptualizations do acknowledge the presence of affect, none considers the possibility of affect as the
subject of self-awareness, that is, as a relevant dimension of self that can be assessed against an ideal.
Lastly, existing scales presume a narrow view of personality where simple behaviors are assessed
against a one-dimensional standard. In reality, self-awareness processes are multifaceted and may
include a wide array of strengths and weakness, for example, self-awareness of thinking styles.
The foregoing review was the primary theoretical underpinning for the beginning development of the
present scale, which started with Study 1.
Study 1: Initial Scale Construction
The primary task of Study 1 was to conceptualize the dimensionality of self-awareness in the specific
context of leader development. One of the defining hallmarks of self-awareness that appears in nearly all
conceptualizations of self-awareness is the notion that individuals evaluate themselves against some
salient standard or goal. At its core, self-awareness is the process that signals whether an individual
needs to moderate a behavior, emotion, or course of action. In other words, the outcome of a self-
awareness episode may signal the need for self-regulation. Although the value of self-regulation in a
leadership context hardly needs explication, the focus here is on the decision processes used to refine
and nuance the salient standard or goal. In short, effective leaders need to integrate the standards and
goals of relevant stakeholders (e.g., bosses, subordinates, peers, and customers) into their own self-
regulatory processes (Tsui & Ashford, 1994).
Based on the foregoing concepts, and focusing to the context of leadership, the initial dimensionality of
self-awareness was theorized to include (a) a recognition of internal and external standards, (b) a
recognition of one’s positive and negative attributes/abilities, (c) a desire for introspective and self-
reflective thought, and (d) a desire for accurately detecting gaps in personal behaviors, traits, and goal
progress.
As is typical in scale development, participants also were asked to complete several additional scales
measuring related constructs where theory and/or prior empirical findings suggest relevance in order to
help establish validity. In this regard, four existing measures of self-awareness were selected.
Correlations between these scales and the present scale were expected to be in the moderate range
because of modest crossover with the present scale, but yet not reflecting the same dimensionality.
Additional measures included were creativity, emotional intelligence, empathy, feedback seeking,
generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, metacognition, and need for cognition (specific details are
provided in the Measures section below). Self-awareness processes include a desire to identify
self/standard gaps, hence creativity is relevant because creative ideas are those that are both original
and useful. As such, individuals must be able to determine whether an idea meets standards (i.e., is a
useful idea). In this regard, constructs that help to capture performance-related cues from the
environment also are useful, for example, feedback seeking, emotional intelligence, and empathy. The
process of setting standards and the accompanying self/standard evaluation is likely to be cognitively
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 6
intense at times such that an individual high in need for cognition would benefit more (i.e., enhancing self-
awareness) than those individuals low on this trait. This logic also applies to metacognition. Lastly, locus
of control and general self-efficacy were included because effective leaders are assumed to be high on
these constructs. Weak to neutral correlations were hypothesized for scales measuring
depression/anxiety, self-monitoring, and socially desirable responding. As regards depression/anxiety,
known empirical links to self-awareness appear to be underpinned on many different factors such as an
unreasonable/unrealistic comparison standard, rumination, and/or inaccurate evaluation of self/standard
progress. The dimensionality of the present scale is likely to preclude these underpinnings to
depression/anxiety primarily because of the focus on accuracy. As regards self-monitoring and socially
desirable responding, these are processes that focus attention primarily outward and only are tangentially
concerned with accuracy of self-appraisal. As such, correlations with the present measure should be
minimal.
Study 1 Method
Participants. Participants were recruited from introductory psychology courses at a large Midwestern
university. The sample size was 419 and was composed of mostly white freshman, sophomores, and
juniors (mean age 21.8, SD = 4.9; 134 males, 285 females). Participant responses were collected using
an internet-based commercial survey tool commonly used in social science research (i.e.,
SurveyMonkey).
Measures. Self-awareness scale items for the present scale were generated from two sources. First, I/O
psychology faculty and graduate students familiar with the research generated items by dimension. This
process resulted in 62 useable items. Second, a pilot study was conducted that included a biographical
essay related to self-awareness. The essay was designed to capture retrospective self-reports of events
in participants’ life experiences that might be related to self-awareness but may have been overlooked by
the item writers. An additional nine items were generated from the self-reports, resulting in a final draft of
71 items.
Three of the four existing self-awareness measures which were included as part of the validation process
already were discussed above, specifically, the Fenigstein, Scheier, and Buss’ (1975) self-consciousness
scale, Burnkrant and Page’s (1984) self-reflection / internal state awareness scale, and Trapnell and
Campbell’s (1999) rumination / reflection scale. A fourth measure of self-awareness included was Grant,
Franklin, and Langford’s (2002) self-reflection / insight scale.
Other related, established constructs were measured using the following existing scales; creativity
(Runco, Noble, & Luptak, 1990), depression/anxiety (Costello & Comrey, 1967), emotional intelligence
(Wong & Law, 2002), empathy (Davis, 1980), feedback seeking (Tuckey, Brewer, & Williamson, 2002),
generalized self-efficacy (Chen, Gully, & Eden, 2001)locus of control (Rotter, 1966), metacognition
(Schraw & Dennison, 1994), need for cognition (Cacioppo, Petty, & Kao, 1984), self-monitoring (Snyder,
1974), and socially desirable responding (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960). The foregoing scales were selected
in part because they evinced acceptable levels of reliability which also were supported in the present
research (see Table 1).
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 7
Table 1
Reliabilities of Related Scales Included in Present Research.
Full Scale Reliabilities
Scale
Original
Present Research
Self-Consciousness
.80
.82
Self-Reflection/Internal State Awareness
Not reported
.81
Rumination/Reflection
.90
.93
Self-Reflection/Insight
.91/.87
*
.90
Creative Activities Checklist
Ranged .64 to .91
*
.91
Depression/Anxiety
.90/.70
*
.94/.85
Emotional Intelligence
Ranged .83 to.90
*
.89
Empathy
Ranged .71 to .77
*
.83
Feedback
.82
.89
Generalized Self-Efficacy
.86
.90
Locus of Control
Ranged .49 to .84
.69
Metacognition
Ranged .88 to .93
*
Ranged .87 to .94
Need for Cognition
.90
.89
Self-Monitoring
.70
.62
Socially Desirable Responding
Ranged .73 to .88
.72
* = not reported for full scale but by dimension
The Feedback Seeking scale was composed of four dimensions, however, the present research only
used the desire for useful information dimension which is shown above.
Study 1 Results
Exploratory factor analysis. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted using Varimax rotation
despite no prior assumption regarding orthogonality. Although 4, 7, and 12 factor solutions emerged, the
4-factor solution had fewer crossloadings and was much easier to interpret than that the seven and
twelve-factor solutions. Total variance explained by the four factors equaled 27% (10.6%, 7.8%, 4.7%,
and 3.8% respectively).
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 8
The dimensionality evinced by the EFA was similar but not identical to the proposed dimensionality. A
comparison of theoretical versus empirical dimensionality is provided in Table 2 which highlights two
dissimilarities. First, a dimension related to accuracy of self-evaluation was not apparent. Second, an
unexpected dimension emerged that can be described as an indifference toward the use of external cues
for purposes of self-evaluation.
Table 2
Hypothesized Dimensions of Self-Awareness versus EFA Dimensions.
EFA Dimensions
Hypothesized Dimensions
Self-critical
Recognition of internal and external standards
Desire for realistic awareness
Indifference to external cues
Recognition of one’s positive and negative
attributes/abilities
Self-reflection
Introspection and self-reflection
Accurately detecting gaps in personal behaviors, traits,
and goal progress
The Cronbach alpha for the entire scale was .85 (individual factors ranged from .73 to .83). Correlations
between the four factors ranged from small and insignificant to a high of .38.
Correlations between Present Self-awareness Scale and Other Measures
Correlations between the present self-awareness scale and all of the included measures discussed above
are shown in Table 3. Correlations between the present self-awareness scale and the four existing self-
awareness measures ranged from .37 to .57. These correlations are moderate and not as high as would
be expected from scales that are measuring the same construct.
Correlations between the present self-awareness measure and the remaining measures also are shown
in Table 3. Taken as a whole, these measures provided additional support for validity. In particular, note
the low correlation between the present measure and socially desirable responding (r = -.16). This result
suggests that a negligible amount of variance was explained by socially desirable responding.
Table 3
Correlations between the Present Self-Awareness Scale (N=44) and the other Included Measures
(N=375).
Self-Reflection / Internal State
Awareness
Rumination / Reflection
Self-Reflection / Insight
Creativity
Depression
Anxiety
Emotional Intelligence
Empathy
Feedback Seeking
Self-Efficacy
Locus of Control
Metacognition
Need for Cognition
Self-Monitoring
Socially Desirable Responding
Self-
Awareness
.37
.55
.57
.19
.05
.28
.09
.43
.26
.10
-.15
.41
.17
.17
-.16
Note. All correlations were significant to at least the .p < 0.05 level except for the depression measure which was not
significant.
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 9
Study 1 Discussion
The overall pattern of correlations evinced in Study 1 was consistent with the literature review above that
suggested self-awareness is composed of both cognitive and affective components. First, the
dimensionality found in the EFA, in addition to positive correlations with constructs thought to be cognitive
in nature (e.g., metacognition), suggests that self-evaluation does engage cognitive processes. These
processes are required to establish standards and make realistic comparisons between one’s present
progress versus the desired or optimal progress. Second, correlations with anxiety and empathy suggest
that being self-aware is not without emotion. Conceptually, the notion of emotional outcomes seems
reasonable when considering that the core of self-awareness processes is concerned with self/standard
gaps, and this line of reasoning is consistent with prior self-awareness theory (e.g., Duval and Wicklund,
1972).
Despite the empirical gleanings provided by Study 1, a critical review of the work indicated some gaps.
First, the dimensionality evinced in the EFA was similar but still not completely representative of ex ante
theory. This result, in combination with the unexplainable EFA dimension labeled indifference to external
cues, suggested a possible need to revisit the theoretical dimensionality of self-awareness in a leadership
context. The outcome of this review suggested that the original conceptualization of self-awareness may
have been missing the dimension of insight. In other words, it seems likely that self-awareness processes
ultimately need to reach a synthesis or conclusion in order to be effective, something that might be called
the “a-ha” moment. After all, what good is an episode of self-reflection if nothing comes of it? Note also
that Grant et al. (2002) included insight in their measure of self-awareness and that the insight dimension
of their scale was positively correlated with the present self-awareness measure. Two additional studies
were designed to address these gaps.
Study 1 also did not include a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). As such, a CFA was conducted in Study
2 with the goal of further clarifying the factor structure and providing additional empirical support for the
scale.
A second gap with Study 1 was a test of criterion validity. As noted above, a large body of evidence has
accrued suggesting that high levels of self-awareness are associated with positive outcomes for leaders.
If this is true, then the present measure of self-awareness should correlate with objective measures of
performance. Study 3 was designed as an empirical test of this premise.
Study 2
The first task of Study 2 was to conduct a pilot study with the goal of clarifying the factor structure of self-
awareness in the present context. A second, goal of the pilot study was to develop a short form of the
scale that was more practical for use in research.
Pilot Study Method
Participants. Participants were recruited and selected using the same methodology in Study 1. The final
sample included 93 males and 183 females (n = 276) with an average age of 23.5 (SD = 7.4).
Measure. Additional scale items related to insight were generated using the same basic methodology as
in Study 1. Thirteen usable items were culled from an initial list of 100 and added to the 71-item scale
from Study 1, for a total of 84 items.
Pilot Study Results
An EFA was conducted using Oblimin rotation. Two and five factor solutions emerged with the latter being
much easier to interpret. Moreover, the five factor solution was much more consistent with a priori theory.
The factors were named as follows; self-critical, insight, self-reflection, feedback seeking, and
performance indifference. The latter factor was composed of items suggesting an indifference to
performance-related events. Total variance explained by the five factors was 30.4% (10.2%, 8.5%, 4.3%,
3.8%, and 3.6% respectively).
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 10
As mentioned above, one goal for Study 2 was to develop a measure that was shorter and more practical
to use. The full measure contained over 80 items and was perceived as taking too long to administer in
many contexts. A 54-item short form was developed by retaining only those items that loaded at least .40
on the respective factor (see Appendix for items). Cronbach alphas for both the long and short form are
provided in Table 4. There was no appreciable loss in reliability in going to the short form. The additional
validation efforts of Study 2 were conducted on the short form.
Table 4
Cronbach alphas for self-awareness long and short form measure (N=276)
Long Form
Short Form
Self-Critical
.858
.849
Insight
.798
.789
Self-Reflection
.793
.799
Feedback Seeking
.737
.734
Performance Indifference
.752
.704
Full Scale
.841
.822
Study 2: CFA
A series of CFAs were conducted on data obtained from a usable sample of 426 participants (average
age = 21.6, SD = 4.8; 154 males, 272 females) that were recruited and surveyed using the same
methodology as discussed above. Model fit was assessed using four commonly used model fit
assessments; comparative fit index (CFI), Tucker-Lewis index (TLI), goodness of fit index (GFI), and root
mean square area of approximation (RMSEA). Hard cutoffs have not been established regarding what is
and is not a good fit, however, general guidelines suggest values ≤ .05 are ideal for RMSEA and values
between .05 and .08 are within reason (Kline, 2000). The remaining indexes are thought to have good fit
for values ≥ .90 (Cheung & Rensvold, 2002; Kline, 2000).
Study 2 CFA results and discussion. CFA results are shown in Table 5. The first model tested was
orthogonal in which the five factors were not allowed to correlate. A second non-orthogonal was tested as
well. As seen in Table 5, the fit of these models was under generally accepted rules of thumb for good
model fit. Two additional models were tested in an attempt to see whether the large number of items
might have suggested a larger sample size. The first of these was a model using only the five highest
loading items on each factor. The second used a composite approach in which scale items were
systematically combined. The fit of these two latter models came close to achieving the model fit rule of
thumb standards discussed above, thus suggesting an approximate but not ideal fit.
Study 3: Criterion Validity
The primary goal for Study 3 was to test the predictive validity of the present measure. Such a test would
benefit from a controlled setting where objective measures of performance were possible. Student
outcomes from a capstone course in the MBA program of a major Midwestern university designed to
develop essential management skills were used as a criterion measure. This course was residential (i.e.,
not online). Specific objectives of the course included (a) teaching interpersonal skills associated with
managing direct reports, (b) improving the quality of communications, (c) increasing self-awareness levels
in managers, and (d) developing teamwork. All of these management skills are assumed to be trainable,
including self-awareness. The gestalt of the preceding literature review support the notion of trainability,
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 11
as well as the finding from Study 1 that self-awareness has a cognitive component, thus suggesting that
self-awareness is not exclusively a trait characteristic.
Congruent with the literature review above and consistent with the outcomes of the prior studies, three
specific hypotheses were put forth regarding outcomes of this course designed to increase leadership
skills.
Hypothesis 1: Levels of self-awareness will increase between the beginning and end of the course.
Hypothesis 2: Self-awareness will be positively correlated with objective measures of performance in the
course.
Hypothesis 3: Students beginning the course with higher levels of self-awareness will benefit more from
the course than those with lower levels of self-awareness.
Table 5
Results of CFA Analyses as Measured by Several Commonly-Used Model Fit Indices (n = 425)
Model
X
2
df
CFI
TLI
GFI
RMSEA
c.i.
Orthogonal
3945, p < .01
1377
.613
.598
.724
.066
.064 - .069
Non-Orthogonal
3499, p < .01
1367
.679
.664
.759
.061
.058 - .063
5 Highest Loads
719, p < .01
265
.825
.802
.875
.064
.058 - .069
Composite
893, p < .01
289
.846
.827
.860
.070
.065 - .075
Note. CFI = Comparative Fit Index; TLI = Tucker-Lewis Index; GFI = Goodness of Fit Index; RMSEA =
Root Mean Square Area of Approximation.
Participants
Participants were students enrolled in three sections of the MBA course described above. Usable data
were collected from 59 participants (mean age = 27.6, SD = 6.1; 37 males, 22 females).
Measures
Self-awareness was measured using the short form of the self-awareness measure as discussed above.
Outcome variables in the course were of two types, both involving video recorded role-playing exercises
of students dealing with common business problems. The first type of exercise was a dyad consisting of a
student role-playing a manager who is addressing performance issues with another student who is role-
playing a subordinate. In specific, the outcome variable was a rating of how each student role-playing the
manager compared against a taxonomy of specific, expected behaviors identified as part of the course
objectives. This dyad measure hereafter is referred to as the individual measure of performance.
The second type of exercise was a group exercise where students role-played managers attempting to
solve a business problem. This outcome variable also was a rating of how well students aligned with a
checklist of behaviors but it is important to note that the ratings were applied separately to each individual
in the group and not the group per se. Hereafter this measure will be referred to as the group context
measure of performance.
Two different types of raters rated the outcome variables described above. First, the professors teaching
the course provided a rating for each of their respective students (i.e., rated only their own classes) for
both the individual and group context measures. These raters are referred to as internal raters. A second
group of raters consisted of I/O psychology doctoral students, hereafter referred to as external raters. The
external raters rated all of the student participants, however, a modified checklist was used to allow for
more information to be collected. As such, detailed interrater reliability was not possible except between
the external raters (α = .62 for the individual measure and α = .58 for the group measure).
Procedure
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 12
The short form self-awareness measure was administered to students at both the beginning and end of
the course and was used as the IV to test the three hypotheses. The DV variables were provided by the
rated outcome variables of the MBA class.
Analyses
Hypothesis 1 used a paired-samples t-test to determine whether the pre/post measures of self-awareness
were statistically different. Hypothesis 2 used a correlation to determine the level of association between
the measure of self-awareness and the individual and group context measures. Hypothesis 3 used a
median split of the pre measure of self-awareness to test for differences in the outcome variables. Tests
to check for significant differences between the low versus high performance split were done using a t-
test for both the individual and group context measures.
Results and Discussion
Hypothesis 1 tested for differences in self-awareness between the beginning and end of the course. The
pre/post difference was not significant, thus Hypothesis 1 was not supported (t
(49)
= 0.39, p < .35). Lack of
support for Hypothesis 1 raises several questions. First, on the reasonable assumption that self-
awareness can be trained, what length of time is required to do it? Is one course enough, especially a
course that had other objectives in addition to increasing self-awareness? Second, is one mode of
training more efficacious than others? In other words, does the artificial context of a classroom setting
provide the ideal methodology to increase self-awareness? Third, development of any kind, including self-
awareness, is likely to require motivated, goal-oriented effort. Attempts to control for the potential of this
latter confound were not done in this research.
Hypothesis 2 posited that self-awareness would be positively correlated with objective measures of
performance. The group context measures of individual performance are shown in Table 6 and provided
partial support for Hypothesis 2. A more detailed view of the relations that includes the various
subdimensions of self-awareness also is provided in Table 6.
Table 6
Correlations of Self-Awareness with Group Measure Performance (n = 56)
Internal Ratings
External Ratings
PostSC
.34
**
.23
*
PostIN
-.01
-.12
PostRE
.02
.05
PostFE
.29
*
.17
PostPI
.13
.28
*
PostTot
.27
*
.21
* = p < .05 (1-tailed) ** = p < 0.01 (1-tailed) † = p < 0.06 (1-tailed).
Note. SC = average self-critical; IN = average insight; RE = average self-reflection; FE = average
feedback; PI = average performance indifference (reversed); Tot = combined average.
Of first note is that the overall measure of self-awareness (average score across all dimensions) was
significantly correlated with the internally-rated measure of performance (r = .27) and almost reached a
level of significance with the externally-rated measure (r = .21, p = .06). Note that the low sample size
may have been a contributing factor to the marginal correlation (i.e., insufficient power). Among the
subdimensions, the self-critical factor had the strongest correlations with performance and the result was
consistent across rater types (r
internal
= .34 and r
external
= .23). The only correlations that were not significant
for both kinds of raters were the insight and reflection subdimensions. Taken as a whole, the measures of
student performance found in Table 6 suggest that higher levels of self-awareness are related to better
individual outcomes in group settings.
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 13
Results for the measures of performance involving dyad interactions were not supportive of Hypothesis 2.
None of correlations between self-awareness and these measures of performance were significant. This
outcome is inconsistent with the group context findings and may be a function of the difference between
the dynamics of dyadic interaction versus group interaction. In other words, the increased social density
of latter, replete with multiple interactions and relationships to manage, may be more likely to activate
self-awareness processes than would a dyadic situation. Taken together, the results provide partial
support for hypothesis 2.
Hypothesis 3 posited that individuals starting a leadership development course with higher levels of self-
awareness would result in better outcomes than individuals starting with lower levels of self-awareness.
This test used a median split based on the pre-measure of self-awareness to create two different criterion
groups (low versus high) for both the individual and group context performance measures. Group
differences were checked using independent samples t-tests (see Table 7). A significant difference
between the low versus high groups was found both for the internally-rated (i.e., course instructors) group
context performance measure and the externally-rated individual performance measure. No significant
differences were found for either the externally-rated group context measure or the internally-rated
individual measure.
One possible explanation for the mixed results could be related to range restriction in the both the pre and
post measures of self-awareness. The range of the pre measure was only .93. and the post measure
range was 1.30. Homogeneity of the participant sample may have contributed to this restriction. The
majority of the sample was white students aged between 23 and 28 with a limited amount of real-world
work experience.
Table 7
Independent Samples t-Tests of Significance in Criterion DV Created Based on a Median Split of the Pre-
Self-Awareness Measure (n = 59)
DV Pairs
Mean (Low)
Mean (High)
t
Sig.
External Rated Individual Measure
-0.05
0.09
-1.68
.05
Internal Rated Individual Measure
0.88
0.87
1.08
.14
External Rated Group Measure
-0.04
-0.00
-0.47
.32
Internal Rated Group Measure
0.85
0.90
-2.75
<.01
Note. One-tailed tests, df = 57.
General Discussion
Studies 1 and 2 helped to more thoroughly specify the theoretical dimensionality of self-awareness in a
leadership context by providing a test of model fit. Study 3 demonstrated partial support for the notion that
self-awareness is related to leader-related outcomes. The less than optimal model fit from the CFA, along
with mixed outcomes for the predictive validity tests in Study 3suggest that additional work is needed. The
litany of apparent paradoxes that has emerged in past as well as present self-awareness research has
demonstrated a full range of desirable, undesirable, and neutral outcomes and is a testament to the
complexity of self-awareness processes.
Overcoming the difficulty in developing a tighter measure of self-awareness may require ongoing thought
regarding the dimensionality of self-awareness process and the associated research designs required to
expect effects. Regarding the latter, do levels of self-awareness increase gradually and consistently, or
are increases catapulted forward, perhaps from defining experiences or traumatic events? Are real-world
situations more engendering of self-awareness development than classroom settings? The diversity of
individuals, tasks, problems, and frustrations in the workforce, for example, is likely to be much richer than
those found in formal training contexts. In short, it may be more appropriate to conduct self-awareness in
real-world contexts than in pure academic contexts.
The present self-awareness scale provides a departure point for studying the effects of self-awareness on
leader outcomes. Although the research discussed above is suggestive that more due diligence is
warranted, the present scale provides a better approach for the study and understanding of self-
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 14
awareness in leaders than the other measures not designed for this purpose. This was accomplished by
considering the specific self-awareness processes that are likely to be associated with effective
leadership. Although complex, the self-awareness construct has shown great promise as one of many
factors associated with leadership successes.
Practical Implications
Practitioners may find value in using the present scale to test for possible associations with outcomes of
their leader development programs as well as other various performance outcome measures. If the scale
can explain variance then this might have implications for hiring and promotion decisions, as well as
organizational training and development efforts.
Related to this, practitioners may also find the present scale helpful in doing leader-related root cause
analysis. For example, Van Velsor and Leslie (1995) in a review of causes for leader derailments
document four superordinate causes for failure: (a) interpersonal relationship problems, (b) not meeting
objectives, (c) team leadership breakdowns, and (d) inability to adapt to transitions and changes.
Although a good case can be made that self-awareness is related to all four of these causes, self-
awareness especially is important in the context of adaption, transition, and changes because this context
speaks most directly to the issue of self/standard gaps. In other words, there may be many situations
where a measure of self-awareness explains variance in failures as well as successes. To the extent this
is true then mitigation efforts can be put in place.
References
Atwater, L. E., Ostroff, C., Yammarino, F. J., & Fleenor, J. W. (1998). Self-other agreement: Does it really
matter? Personnel Psychology, 51, 577-598.
Bass, B. M., & Yammarino, F. J. (1991). Congruence of self and others' leadership ratings of naval
officers for understanding successful performance. Applied Psychology: An International Review,
40, 437-454.
Burnkrant, R. E., & Page, T. J. (1984). A modification of the Fenigstein, Scheier, and Buss self-
consciousness scales. Journal of Personality Assessment, 48, 629-637.
Cacioppo, J. T., Petty, R. E., & Kao, C. F. (1984). The efficient assessment of need for cognition. Journal
of Personality Assessment, 48, 306-307.
Chen, G., Gully, S. M., & Eden, D. (2001). Validation of a new general self-efficacy scale. Organizational
Research Methods, 4, 62-82.
Cheung, G. W., & Rensvold, R. B. (2002). Evaluating goodness-of-fit indexes for testing measurement
invariance. Structural Equation Modeling, 9, 233-255.
Church, A. H. (1997a). Do you see what I see? An exploration of congruence in ratings from multiple
perspectives. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 983-1020.
Church, A. H. (1997b). Managerial self-awareness in high-performing individuals in organizations. Journal
of Applied Psychology, 82, 281-292.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence
Erlbaum Associates.
Cooley, C. H. (1956). Two major works: Social organization. Human nature and the social order. Glencoe,
Ill.,: Free Press.
Costello, C. G., & Comrey, A. L. (1967). Scales for measuring depression and anxiety. Journal of
Psychology, 66, 303-313.
Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology.
Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24, 349-354.
Davis, M. H. (1980). A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. JSAS Catalog of
selected documents in psychology, 10, 85.
Dulewicz, V., & Higgs, M. (2000). Emotional intelligence: A review and evaluation study. Journal of
Managerial Psychology, 15(4), 341-372.
Duval, S., & Wicklund, R. A. (1972). A theory of objective self awareness. New York: Academic Press.
Fenigstein, A., Scheier, M. F., & Buss, A. H. (1975). Public and private self-consciousness: Assessment
and theory. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 43, 522-527.
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 15
Furnham, A., & Stringfield, P. (1994). Congruence of self and subordinate ratings of managerial practices
as a correlate of supervisor evaluation. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology,
67, 57-67.
Goleman, D. (2004). What makes a leader? Harvard Business Review, 82(1), 82-91.
Grant, A. M., Franklin, J., & Langford, P. (2002). The self-reflection and insight scale: A new measure of
private self-consciousness. Social Behavior and Personality, 30, 821-836.
Ickes, W. J., Wicklund, R. A., & Ferris, C. B. (1973). Objective self-awareness and self-esteem. Journal of
Experimental Social Psychology, 9, 202-219.
James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology. New York: H. Holt and company.
Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (2nd ed.). New York: The
Guilford Press.
Leary, M. R., & Buttermore, N. R. (2003). The Evolution of the Human Self: Tracing the Natural History of
Self-Awareness. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 33, 365-404.
Leary, M. R., & Tangney, J. P. (2003). The self as an organizing construct in the behavioral and social
sciences. In M. R. Leary & J. P. Tangney (Eds.), Handbook of self and identity (pp. 3-14). New
York: The Guilford Press.
Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self & society from the standpoint of a social behaviorist. Chicago, Ill.,: The
University of Chicago Press.
McEnrue, M. P., Groves, K. S., & Shen, W. (2007). Emotional intelligence development: Leveraging
individual characteristics. Journal of Management Development, 28(2), 150-174. doi:
10.1108/02621710910932106
Pyszczynski, T., Hamilton, J. C., Greenberg, J., & Becker, S. E. (1991). Self-awareness and
psychological dysfunction. In C. R. Snyder & D. R. Forsyth (Eds.), Handbook of social and clinical
psychology: The health perspective (pp. 138-157). New York: Pergamon.
Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectations for internal versus external control of reinforcement.
Psychological Monographs, 80, 1-28.
Runco, M. A., Noble, E. P., & Luptak, Y. (1990). Agreement between mothers and sons on ratings of
creative activity. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 50, 673-680.
Schraw, G., & Dennison, R. S. (1994). Assessing metacognitive awareness. Contemporary Educational
Psychology, 19, 460-475.
Snyder, M. (1974). Self-monitoring of expressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
30, 526-537.
Trapnell, P. D., & Campbell, J. D. (1999). Private self-consciousness and the five-factor model of
personality: Distinguishing rumination from reflection. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 76, 284-304.
Tsui, A. S., & Ashford, S. J. (1994). Adaptive self-regulation: A process view of managerial effectiveness.
Journal of Management, 20, 93-121.
Tuckey, M., Brewer, N., & Williamson, P. (2002). The influence of motives and goal orientation on
feedback seeking. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 75, 195-216.
Van Velsor, E., Taylor, S., & Leslie, J. B. (1993). An examination of the relationships among self-
perception, accuracy, self-awareness, gender, and leader effectiveness. Human Resource
Management, 32(2-3), 249-263.
Van Velsor, E., & Leslie, J. B. (1995). Why executives fail: Perspectives across time and cultures.
Academy of Management Executive, 9, 62-72.
Wexley, K. N., Alexander, R. A., Greenawalt, J. P., & Couch, M. A. (1980). Attitudinal congruence and
similarity as related to interpersonal evaluations in manager-subordinate dyads. Academy of
Management Journal, 23(2), 320-330.
Wong, C.-S., & Law, K. S. (2002). The effects of leader and follower emotional intelligence on
performance and attitude: An exploratory study. The Leadership Quarterly, 13, 243-274.
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 16
Appendix
Scale Items for Short Form (54 items)
Factor 1 Name: Self-Critical
01 When you make a mistake to what extent has it tended to disrupt your day?
03 To what extent have you found yourself dwelling over minor social mistakes?
13 How difficult has it been for you to accept the fact that you were not as good at something as you
thought you were?
14 How difficult has it been for you to cope with situations that forced you to see yourself in a different
way?
16 How important has it been for you to receive praise from others?
24 How often do you compare your standards to those of others?
25 How often do you criticize your own work?
27 How often do you feel guilty when you have not performed to standards?
30 How often do you question your abilities?
31 How often do you reflect on your performance standards after a failure?
34 How often do you compare your performance to the performance of others?
37 How often do you assess whether you "belong" in a given situation?
38 How often has an emotional or difficult situation caused you to reassess your strengths and
weaknesses?
40 When entering new situations, have you often found yourself worrying about your qualifications?
Factor 2 Name: Insight
06 To what extent are you aware of your own values and beliefs?
07 To what extent do you reflect on the things you like to do?
08 To what extent do you understand how your characteristics and your experiences have led to you
becoming the person you are today?
09 To what extent do you understand how your personal characteristics lead to your behavior in different
situations?
10 To what extent do you use diverse perspectives to arrive at new conclusions about yourself?
12 To what extent would your friends describe you as someone who knows themselves well?
19 After a major accomplishment how likely are you to sit back and enjoy the moment?
20 How likely are your friends to say that you know yourself well?
28 How often do you know what qualities you bring to a relationship?
29 How often do you modify your standards in order to improve performance?
39 When working on a project, how often can you tell in advance what part would be the easiest for you?
Factor 3 Name: Reflection
11 To what extent would you say that you consciously think about the ways your thoughts and emotions
influence your behavior?
18 How likely are your friends to describe you as introspective?
22 How often did you spend time alone in high school so you could have time to think?
35 How often do you enjoy time alone because it allows you to reflect on your day's activities?
47 How often do you set time aside to reflect on your day?
48 How often do you ponder over how to improve yourself from knowledge of previous experiences?
49 I integrate information about myself from different sources to better understand myself?
50 I often find myself searching internally for explanations of my behavior and emotions?
51 How frequently have the outcomes of your behavior in a given situation caused you to reach an "a-ha"
moment about yourself?
53 Relative to your friends, how much time do you spend trying to understand yourself?
54 Relative to your friends, how much time do you spend thinking about the reasons for your behaviors?
Factor 4 Name: Feedback
02 To what extent have you used feedback from your professor or boss to improve your performance?
04 To what extent do you like instructors or bosses to provide feedback?
05 To what extent do you enjoy participating in activities that are challenging?
SELF-AWARENESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF LEADERS
Copyright (c) 2012 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management. All Rights Reserved. 17
23 How often do you check with someone (advisor, teacher) to see if you're on the right track?
32 How often do you seek feedback regarding the quality of your work?
33 How often do you set personal goals?
44 How often has criticism resulted in a significant improvement in your performance?
45 How often do you write down your goals and track your progress towards them?
Factor 5 Name: Performance Indifference
15 How difficult has it been for you to criticize your own performance?
17 How likely are you to accurately tell if your work will meet the standards for your supervisor?
21 How often are your standards for work higher than the standards others have for you?
26 How often do you decrease the difficulty of your goals to make them more attainable?
36 How often have you used other's level of interest in a given activity to help you decide the level of your
own interest?
41 In school, when assigned a project, how often do you put in only enough effort to get a passing grade?
42 How often were you surprised by a grade you received in a course?
43 How often have you been surprised by requests for help from friends?
46 How often do you turn down a project because it is beyond your abilities?
52 When you are upset, how long does it take you to figure out what caused it?
Response formats (items were grouped by response format):
Items 1 - 12: Not At All Items 13 - 15: Not At All Difficult
Slight Extent Slightly Difficult
Moderately Extent Moderately Difficult
Large Extent Somewhat Difficult
To a Great Extent Extremely Difficult
Item 16: Not At All Important Items 17 - 20: Extremely Unlikely
Slightly Important Unlikely
Moderately Important Neither Likely Nor Unlikely
Somewhat Important Likely
Extremely Important Extremely Likely
Items 21 - 50: Never Item 51: Never
Rarely Rarely
Sometimes Sometimes
Frequently Frequently
Always Always
Item 52: Very Little Time Items 53 - 54: Much Less Time Relative To My Friends
A Little Time Less Time Relative To My Friends
Some Time Same Time Relative To My Friends
A Long Time More Time Relative To My Friends
A Very Long Time Much More Time Relative To My Friends
... Authentic leadership draws greater interest for three reasons: first, authenticity and selfawareness are considered the most important aspects of leadership (Avolio & Luthans, 2006;Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2001;Ashley & Reiter-Palmon, 2012;Snowden, 2002); secondly, scholars and practitioner suggest that leaders must be authentic to be successful (Bennis, 2003;Brown, 2001;Cashman, 2000;Friedman, 2006;George, 2003George, Sims, McLean, & Mayer, 2007); and, thirdly, scholars advance that because authentic leaders are true to themselves and display a strong sense of self awareness and moral courage, they influence positive outcomes in others, such as ethical behaviors, authenticity, and well-being (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May, 2004;Brown & Mitchell, 2010;Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, May, & Walumbwa, 2005;Ilies, Morgeson, & Nahrgang, 2005). ...
... Authenticity, or more accurately the lack of authenticity, lies at the heart of the 21 st century leadership crisis in the U.S. In response, a renewed emphasis was placed on valuesbased leadership models, specifically research focused on the importance of possessing inner ethical/moral qualities and values, as a call to action to restore confidence, integrity and ethical behavior in leadership (Avolio, 2003;Brown, Trevino, and Harrison, 2005;George, 2003;Lorenzi, 2004;Luthans & Avolio, 2003;May, Chan, Hodges, & Avolio, 2003). Authentic leadership draws greater interest for three reasons: first, authenticity and selfawareness are considered the most important aspects of leadership (Avolio & Luthans, 2006;Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2001;Ashley & Reiter-Palmon, 2012;Snowden, 2002); secondly, scholars and practitioner suggest that leaders must be authentic to be successful (Bennis, 2003;Brown, 2001;Cashman, 2000;Friedman, 2006;George, 2003George, Sims, McLean, & Mayer, 2007); and, thirdly, scholars advance that because authentic leaders are true to themselves and display a strong sense of self awareness and moral courage, they influence positive outcomes in others, such as ethical behaviors, authenticity, and well-being (Avolio, Gardner, Walumbwa, Luthans, & May, 2004;Brown & Mitchell, 2010;Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, May, & Walumbwa, 2005;Ilies, Morgeson, & Nahrgang, 2005). ...
Research
Full-text available
The goal of this study was to explore the connection between authentic leadership, spirituality, and human development theory to determine if spirituality contributes to the emergence or formation of an authentic leadership identity. An interdisciplinary research approach was conducted by reviewing literature on authentic leadership, spirituality, and human development. A sequential explanatory mixed method design was used to collect and analyze the personal beliefs and life experiences of individuals who were nominated as authentic leaders. Sixty-one participants completed a questionnaire and a subset of eleven participants completed semi-structured interviews. Quantitative findings identified that nearly 94% of participants considered themselves to be spiritual (n = 57). Most participants (90%) believe that spirituality influences their beliefs about leadership and their behaviors as leaders (n =55). Similarly, most participants (90%) affirmed that their spirituality influences their authenticity and self-awareness as a leader (n =55). Qualitative findings from semi-structured interviews identified that spirituality, or spiritual influences, experienced during the formative years, influenced participants’ values and beliefs, defined their principles and ethics, and provided a framework for how to live and behave. For most participants, these values and beliefs were informed by religious parents and/or a religious upbringing. When a participant did not reference a religious parent or religious upbringing, a sense of God, or higher power, or a strong sense of service was acknowledged instead. Findings also credit spirituality, or the belief in a higher power or God with having encouraged a participants’ journey or purpose. Participants acknowledged that spirituality has helped and continues to help define who they are, who they want to be, and how they want to live and work. Based on these findings, this study offers evidence that values and beliefs link spirituality to the emergence of an authentic leadership identity. While an individual's identity continues to be shaped and influenced across a person's lifespan, core values which influenced their emergence as an authentic leader were established during the early formative years, informed by parental and spiritual (religious) influences. As such, spirituality may be a mediating variable which influences the emergence of authentic leadership identity, as well as, encourages a sense of purpose, life-direction, and/or self-actualization.
... El interés por los coordinadores académicos se debe a que son estos individuos quienes organizan, promueven y llevan a la práctica los procesos educativos que influyen directamente sobre el trabajo de los docentes y el desempeño de los estudiantes. En este sentido, llevar a cabo un diagnóstico que permita a los participantes entender mejor sus niveles de desempeño en lo que toca al liderazgo, facilitará la adaptación al cambio y los ayudará a mejorar su ejecución (Ashley y Reiter-Palmon, 2012). Además, en congruencia con investigaciones previas sobre liderazgo educativo en México (Díaz, 2020;Valle-Aparicio, 2013), este trabajo aporta resultados útiles a la implementación de iniciativas educativas alineadas con cambios que se requieren gestionar en contextos educativos. ...
... El ejercicio de evaluación de las competencias de liderazgo en coordinadores académicos se llevó a cabo para fomentar el autoconocimiento en este rubro. Este tipo de ejercicio es importante pues el autoconocimiento está a la base si se quieren iniciar procesos de adaptación de las conductas de liderazgo que llevan a un mejor desempeño (Ashley y Reiter-Palmon, 2012). En congruencia con estudios realizados bajo un diseño de investigación-acción, los resultados presentados aquí informan a los participantes del estudio, en lo particular, para comenzar un proceso de adaptación necesario para abordar retos emergentes en el trabajo . ...
Book
Full-text available
La presente obra tiene por finalidad promover reflexiones epistémi�cas relacionadas con los procesos de liderazgo pedagógico en contextos complejos, basadas en experiencias docentes y académicas, en los con�textos de las actuales crisis económicas, de salud y sociales vividas por la población mundial y que afectan a estudiantes y docentes, durante los años 2020 y 2021 La obra es colectiva y resultado de una convocatoria presentada por el Centro de Investigación Iberoamericano en educación, que convocaba a docentes, académicos y estudiantes de postgrado a compartir sus ex�periencias y reflexiones en torno a cómo se expresa el liderazgo en los centros educativos y aportar reflexiones educativas, de cómo liderar ante el desarrollo del Paradigma de la Complejidad (Morin, 2001), de cómo académicos y docentes asumen la nueva pedagogía en los contextos crí�ticos provocados por la desigualdad, la crisis social y de salud, que nos enfrenta a realidades complejas que nos llenan de incertidumbres. Es así como nace este libro titulado: “Liderazgo Situado en el Paradigma de la Complejidad: Docentes que construyen la nueva pedagogía, aquí y ahora”.
... These adversity thrivers had two qualities in common. The first was resilience, a strong sense of belief in one's own capabilities and the other was self-efficacy, the ability to keep moving forwards through adverse conditions and bounce back, or forwards from devastating failure (Ashely & Reiter-Palmon, 2012;Hines, 2004). Resilience is often referred to as a fixed trait or personality type that one either does or does not have. ...
... The complexity of oneself can prompt us to have that longing to discover more, especially when opportunity arises. Self-awareness is an inwardly focused evaluative process in which individuals make self/standard comparisons with the goal of better self-knowledge and improvement (Ashley & Reiter-Palmon, 2012). In this paper, it is considered as the first step towards fulfilling the goal of achieving mental health. ...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuously causing serious effects on the mental health of college students due to the series of lockdowns and sudden shifting of face-to-face classes to fully online. The study aims to determine and explore the various themes that play a significant role in the development of this issue by an in-depth study of selected reflection papers submitted in class. These texts were interpreted and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings revealed three major themes: anxiety and depression as serious effects of the pandemic, God/ Higher Being as the first and/or last source of support and, the essentiality of self-awareness and self-acceptance in improving mental health. These themes which are contextualized in nature hope to contribute to future research in formulating effective interventions and strategies in the war against the negative effects of the pandemic most especially for the welfare of college students.
... For example, one of the constructs of the SEAD is emotional clarity, which was abstracted from the emotional intelligence construct, selfawareness. Self-awareness is a complex concept that has proven difficult to measure through self-report instruments (Ashley & Reiter-Palmon, 2012), yet self-report instruments are often used to measure emotional clarity (Boden et al., 2013). One such widely used instrument, the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), accurately measures clinically relevant levels of emotional clarity by posing statements such as, "I am clear about my feelings" (Gratz & Roemer, 2004;Neumann et al., 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Social emotional abilities (i.e., specific skills), defined as the set of cognitive abilities, emotion-based knowledge, and behavioral competencies (i.e., skill levels) that facilitate adaptively employing prosocial processes and behaviors (i.e., “actions”), such as emotional regulation and sympathetic and empathetic response behaviors, is contemporarily modeled and measured as emotional intelligence. This conceptualization can be problematic, however, as the two concepts are not the same and traditional methods of measuring emotional intelligence can have limited practical utility. The social emotional ability development (SEAD) theoretical model introduced in this treatise represents a pragmatic and simplified approach to the development of social emotional ability and competency as abstracted from constructs of emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and sociocultural learning theory. Further, the SEAD model reaches beyond the individual as the unit of analysis to explore, conceptualize, differentiate, investigate, and define the hierarchal, bi-directional, and contextual nature of the dimensions of social emotional ability within close relationships. Implications for how the SEAD model can be used by researchers, practitioners, educators, individuals, families, and couples across a broad spectrum of domains and interventions are discussed.
... Self-awareness as a concept varies, however it is most commonly defined as an inwardly focused reflective evaluative process in which individuals make self/ standard comparisons with the goal of better self-knowledge and improvement. 199 Whilst the quality of being self-aware and reflective was not mentioned as often as other skills and qualities, there were numerous indirect references to this quality. For example, an Argentinian deputy mentioned the fact that participating in the interview for this research had given her a good opportunity to reflect on which skills she had utilised in the recent legislation to legalise abortion in Argentina. ...
... Self-awareness in the leadership literature is considered an important competency for developing a leader's personal identity (Fleenor et al., 2010;Rubens et al., 2018) describing the leader's ability to be self-critical, reflective, insightful and open to feedback (Ashley and Reiter-Palmon, 2012). According to Goleman (2009), emotional intelligence is built on selfawareness, which is a prerequisite for self-regulation and for communication with others. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is twofold: to test existing Authentic Leadership (AL) instruments simultaneously in the same environment, and based on these, to propose an extended instrument for the assessment of AL intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies. Design/methodology/approach Three existing instruments of AL – Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ) (Walumbwa et al., 2008), Authentic Leadership Inventory (ALI) (Neider and Schriesheim, 2011) and the Three Pillar Model (TPM) (Beddoes-Jones and Swailes, 2015) – were tested, and an extended instrument was proposed based on the results. Two different samples were used – a homogeneous sample ( N = 1021) from the military and a heterogeneous sample ( N = 547) from retail, catering, public services and logistics industries. Construct validity for the instruments was assessed using a confirmatory factor analysis, and the internal consistency of the factors was analysed using Cronbach’s alpha. Findings From existing instruments, two out of three indicate issues with internal factor consistency and model fit. The internal consistency of factors and model fit of the extended instrument developed here is satisfactory and suitable for assessing authentic leadership competencies in a single organisation or industry. Originality/value This paper sees AL as the behaviour of leaders affected by leadership competencies. Three existing AL instruments were tested alongside a proposed extended instrument to assess AL intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies in the same context.
Article
Full-text available
Masalah sampah timbul akibat kurangnya pengetahuan tentang bagaimana cara penanganan sampah yang baik dan sikap yang terkadang acuh tak acuh terhadap sampah yang berserakan. Tindakan yang semaunya membuang sampah sembarangan disebabkan kurangnya kesadaran tentang lingkungan dan dampak yang ditimbulkan. Sikap sadar lingkungan untuk memisahkan sampah organik dan anorganik belum muncul dalam diri. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui hubungan kesadaran dan sikap mahasiswa Universitas Negeri Malang (UM) dalam pengelolaan sampah. Penelitian ini merupakan deskriptif analitik korelasional menggunakan desain cross sectional. Pengambilan sampel dengan cara cluster random sampling melalui dua tahap yaitu: tahap pertama menentukan sampel tempat yaitu mahasiswa di UM dan tahap kedua menentukan sampel responden sejumlah 30. Penelitian ini dilakukan di UM. Instrumen yang digunakan adalah lembar kuisioner (check list). Analisa data dengan rank sperman menunjukkan nilai sebesar 0,649 disimpulkan bahwa H0 diterima artinya tidak ada hubungan antara kesadaran dan sikap mahasiswa di Universitas Negeri Malang dalam pengelolaan sampah.
Article
Leadership development is a top priority for many organizations and a critical driver of success. This qualitative case study research examined ways participation in a cohort‐based LDP contributed to HiPo employee's leadership development for the purpose of talent management, including an examination of which programmatic components help promote participant growth. This study illustrates the importance of, and methods to support, better leadership development outcomes for HiPos to improve talent management efforts. This research utilized a method for qualitative analysis and was conducted using a constant comparative method, requiring new findings and interpretations be compared with those previously found during analysis. Data included end‐of‐program graduate evaluations, semi‐structured interviews, and manager evaluation surveys. Findings support the importance of 360‐feedback and peer coaching as part of HiPo employee development. Each of these simultaneously improves self‐awareness, human capital, networking, and participant well‐being; the resulting model provides an illustration of the relationships found.
Article
Full-text available
Most college students and employers have differing views about skills gained from participating in a study abroad program. If created with purposeful intent to emphasize employability skills, study abroad programs can increase soft skills desired by future employers. Selected participants at Texas A&M University recorded their perceptions about soft skills gained from several agriculture-based, short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs. Many students perceived gains in important employability skills (i.e., communications, global awareness, flexibility, adaptability, and intercultural skills). Study abroad programs should be developed and administered to emphasize future employment soft skills to help participants more easily transfer such skills to future workplace settings. College of agriculture educators can help students develop soft skills through agriculture-focused, short-term, study abroad programs. Future research should explore agricultural employers' beliefs about students' employability skills gained from study abroad. A need exists to know which soft skills are most beneficial for entry-level employment, as identified and prioritized by agricultural industry employers, and/or community organization leaders.
Article
Full-text available
Private self-consciousness and the subordinate constructs of self-reflection and insight are key factors in the self-regulatory process underpinning the creation of behavior change, both in clinical practice with clinical populations, and in performance enhancing coaching with ...
Article
Full-text available
A distinction between ruminative and reflective types of private self-attentiveness is introduced and evaluated with respect to L. R. Goldberg's (1982) list of 1,710 English trait adjectives (Study 1), the five-factor model of personality (FFM) and A. Fenigstein, M. F. Scheier, and A. Buss's(1975) Self-Consciousness Scales (Study 2), and previously reported correlates and effects of private self-consciousness (PrSC; Studies 3 and 4). Results suggest that the PrSC scale confounds two unrelated motivationally distinct disposition-rumination and reflection-and that this confounding may account for the "self-absorption paradox" implicit in PrSC research findings: Higher PrSC sources are associated with more accurate and extensive self-knowledge yet higher levels of psychological distress. The potential of the FFM to provide a comprehensive Framework for conceptualizing self-attentive dispositions, and to order and integrate research findings within this domain, is discussed.
Article
We constructed a 52-item inventory to measure adults′ metacognitive awareness. Items were classified into eight subcomponents subsumed under two broader categories, knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition. Two experiments supported the two-factor model. Factors were reliable (i.e., α = .90) and inter-correlated (r = .54). Experiment 2 reported the knowledge of cognition factor was related to pre-test judgments of monitoring ability and performance on a reading comprehension test, but was unrelated to monitoring accuracy. Implications for educational assessment and future research were discussed.
Article
Creative Activities and Accomplishments Check Lists are often used to assess the creative performance of children. Check Lists are attractive because the respondent is generally well informed about his or her own past achievements, and the focus is on actual rather than potential performance. Additionally, Check Lists can be used to assess creative activity in a variety of domains. This is very important given the current view of creativity as involving domain-specific skills. The present investigation was conducted to evaluate the validity of ratings of children's creativity obtained with a Creative Activities Check List. A Check List was administered independently to sons (n = 73) and their mothers (n = 60). It contained 55 items from four domains: math-science, art, crafts, and writing. Correlational analyses indicated that the four domain ratings given by the mothers concerning their sons' creativity were significantly related to the four domain ratings of their sons. Four canonical functions were derived, accounting for a total of 85% of the variance (p < .001) of the ratings. Similarly, the mean ratings given by mothers and their sons were not significantly different, suggesting that mothers' ratings might be used when ratings from children cannot be obtained. These results support the validity of the Activities Check List.