Construct validation in leadership research

Explication and illustration

Chester Schriesheim, Claudia C. Cogliser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The field of leadership typically employs constructs-variables that cannot be directly measured-in its research. Yet, our measures are rarely subjected to systematic assessment of their construct validity. This paper presents arguments about the importance of the construct validation process and illustrates why such concerns are well founded by examining the most commonly used measure of subordinate-perceived leader-member exchange, the LMX-7 scale. Using bakery workers (N = 379) and employed MBA students (N = 350), discriminant validity was investigated by exploratory factor analysis in the first sample, confirmatory factor analysis in the second sample, and correlation and multiple regression analysis in a subset of the second sample (N = 220). The results suggested poor subordinate LMX-7 discriminant validity and that subordinate LMX-7 scores were substantially predicted by measures of supportive leadership and supervisor satisfaction (R2 = .71). Implications for future LMX theory and research are discussed as well as the types of construct validity evidence that we need to gather on our research instruments before and while they are employed in substantive studies of leadership phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-736
Number of pages12
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009

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leadership
construct validity
Statistical Factor Analysis
factor analysis
Research
regression analysis
Regression Analysis
leader
Students
worker
evidence
Construct validation
student
Discriminant validity
Construct validity
Workers
Supervisors
Confirmatory factor analysis
Exploratory factor analysis
Multiple regression analysis

Keywords

  • Construct validity
  • Leader-member exchange
  • Leadership measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Construct validation in leadership research : Explication and illustration. / Schriesheim, Chester; Cogliser, Claudia C.

In: Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 5, 10.2009, p. 725-736.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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