A Hierarchical Taxonomy of Leadership Behavior

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A Hierarchical

Taxonomy of Leadership Behavior: Integrating a Half Century of Behavior Research
Gary Yukl Angela Gordon University at Albany,
Tom Taber State University

of New York, Albany, NY

major problem leadership research and has been lack of agreement about which theory behavior categories are relevant and meaningful. It is difficult to integrate findings from five decades of research unless the many diverse leadership behaviors can be integrated in a parsimonious and meaningful conceptual An emerging solution is a framework. hierarchical taxonomy with three metacategories (task, relations, and change behavior). Confirmatory factor analysis of a behavior


major problem in research leadership has
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Scales were formed using the best items from the factor analysis. Change-oriented behavior correlated the strongest with subordinate ratings of the manager’s competence, whereas employeecentered behavior correlated highest with subordinate satisfaction with the manager. In the second study, Yukl (1998) administered leader behavior questionnaires to 318 direct reports of managers in charge of 48 organizational units (division, agency, district office, plant) of varying size from 15 private and public sector organizations. Most of the managers occupied middle or upper-level management positions. The leader behavior questionnaire included representative items from the Managerial Practices Survey (MPS), an instrument used for multi-source feedback workshops (Yukl, Wall, & Lepsinger, 1990). The questionnaire also included some items adapted from the MLQ (Bass & Avolio, 1990). Some new items were written to describe aspects of change-oriented behavior not represented in these earlier questionnaires. An exploratory factor analysis produced a clear factor structure for task-oriented behavior, relationshiporiented behavior, and change-oriented behavior. The latter factor included identifying external threats and opportunities, envisioning new possibilities, proposing innovative strategies, and encouraging
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