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An empirical examination of a four-factor theory of leadership using smallest space analysis

Authors
Journal
Organizational Behavior and Human Performance
0030-5073
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
6
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0030-5073(71)90016-x
Disciplines
  • Mathematics

Abstract

Abstract The recent integrative four-factor theory of leadership proposed by Bowers and Seashore (1966) is studied with regard to the empirical clustering of variables typically used to measure the factors. Thirteen Supervisory Leadership questionnaire variables and eleven Work Group Leadership variables are examined for geometric proximity or clustering using Smallest Space Analysis. Data obtained from three different industrial organizations, a petroleum refinery, an insurance company, and a plastics producer are examined separately, with the refinery data reviewed in considerable detail. The results suggest that the four factors originally postulated exist as separately measurable entities with slight exceptions. Some modifications of the original factors seem necessary based on consistent differences across the three sites examined. Several differences among the three sites are also noted.

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