ERIC Number: ED333539
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Constructive/Development Theory and Leadership: A Question of Perceived Leadership.
Amey, Marilyn J.
This paper summarizes a project to determine the helpfulness of constructive/developmental theory in studying effective leadership. Grounded in social science research conducted by Piaget, Kohlberg, Perry, and others, the constructive/developmental leadership model has four stages. In the imperial stage, the individual's frames of reference are personal goals and agendas. At the interpersonal stage, individuals can reflect on others' interests and experience trust, commitment, and mutuality. Persons in the institutional stage have developed a subjective frame of reference allowing for self-definition in terms of internal values and standards, not merely connections to others. In the interindividual stage, end values have become the object and a "global" worldview becomes the organizing process. The constructive/developmental model was used to analyze transcripts from interviews across five institutional settings (small, private liberal arts colleges) to determine the leader's developmental level, the organization's developmental level, and the leader's perceived effectiveness. Regarding the relationship of effective leadership to leader/constituent developmental congruence, results confirm that constituents can only perceive leadership effectiveness within a particular frame of reference determined by their cognitive development level. Similarly, a leader will only be able to enact leadership within his/her particular frame of reference, again a function of cognitive development. Leaders who are more cognitively developed than the organization can also be perceived as ineffective if they are not employing appropriate leadership strategies based on their constituents' development. (21 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conceptual Frameworks; Developmental Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).