Led On Line
Presentazione - About us
Novita' - What's new
Lededizioni Home Page Ricerca - Search
Catalogo - Catalogue
Per contattarci - Contacts
Per gli Autori - For the Authors
Statistiche - Statistics
Cookie Policy
Privacy Policy

The Measurement of Socially Responsible Leadership: Considerations in Establishing Psychometric Rigor

John P. Dugan


As educational institutions increase attention toward the preparation of future citizen leaders, the assessment of the efficacy of these interventions must increase in sophistication as well. Socially responsible leadership, and the social change model of leadership development from which it is derived, are among the most applied conceptual frameworks informing leadership education. Educational gains associated with this approach are typically assessed using the «Socially Responsible Leadership Scale» (SRLS), an instrument that has been used widely in educational research in the United States. This paper extends the psychometric understanding of the SRLS using findings from the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL), an international research program examining developmental and educational influences on socially responsible leadership. To date, MSL has collected data in five countries at over 300 institutions of higher education with over 300,000 participants. Implications from this paper explore how the psychometric rigor of the SRLS can continue to evolve as well as considerations for the theoretical evolution of the social change model and socially responsible leadership.


Assessment; Development; Leadership; Measurement social responsibility; Misurazione; Responsabiltà sociale; Sviluppo; Valutazione

Full Text:



Association of American Colleges & Universities (2007). College learning for the new global century. Washington, DC: Author.

Avolio, B. J., & Bass, B. M. (2004). Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire: Manual and sampler set (3rd ed.). Menlo Park, CA: Mindgarden.

Bentler, P. M., & Mooijaart, A. (1989). Choice of structural model via parsimony: A rationale based on precision. Psychological Bulletin, 106, 315-317.

Bowman, N. A., & Hill, P. L. (2011). Measuring how college effects students: Social desirability and other potential biases in college student self-reported gains. In N. A. Bowman, & S. Herzog (Eds.), Validity and limitations of student selfreport data (≪New Directions in Institutional Research≫, no. 150, pp. 73-85). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bowman, N. A., & Seifert, T. A. (2011). Can college students accurately assess what affects their learning and development? Journal of College Student Development, 52, 270-290.

Chan, K., & Drasgow, F. (2001). Toward a theory of individual differences and leadership: Understanding the motivation to lead. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 481-498.

Cooper, W. (1981). Ubiquitous halo. Psychological Bulletin, 90, 218-244.

Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 24, 349-354.

Day, D. V., Harrison, M. M., & Halpin, S. M. (2009). An integrative approach to leader development. New York: Taylor & Francis.

DeVellis, R. F. (2012). Scale development (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Dugan, J. P. (2006a). Explorations using the social change model: Leadership development among college men and women. Journal of College Student Development, 47, 217-225.

Dugan, J. P. (2006b). Involvement and leadership: A descriptive analysis of socially responsible leadership. Journal of College Student Development, 47, 335-343.

Dugan, J. P. (2011). Research on college student leadership. In S. R. Komives, J. P. Dugan, J. E. Owen, W. Wagner, C. Slack, & Associates, Handbook for student leadership development (pp. 59-84). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Dugan, J. P. (2012). Exploring local to global leadership education assessment. In K. L. Guthrie & L. Osteen (Eds.), Developing students’ leadership capacity (≪New Directions for Student Services≫, no. 140, pp. 89-101). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Dugan, J. P., Bohle, C. W., Woelker, L., & Cooney, M. A. (2014). The role of social perspective-taking in developing students’ leadership capacities. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 51(1), 1-15.

Dugan, J. P., Kodama, C., Correia, B., & Associates (2013). Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership insight report: Leadership program delivery. College Park, MD: National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.

Dugan, J. P., & Komives, S. R. (2010). Influences on college students’ capacity for socially responsible leadership. Journal of College Student Development, 51, 525-549.

Dugan, J. P., Komives, S. R., & Segar, T. C. (2008). College student capacity for socially responsible leadership: Understanding norms and influences of race, gender, and sexual orientation. NASPA Journal, 45, 475-500.

Dugan, J. P., Rossetti Morosini, A. M., & Beazley, M. R. (2011). Cultural transferability of socially responsible leadership: Findings from the United States and Mexico. Journal of College Student Development, 52, 456-474.

du Merac, E. R. (2014). The measurement of leadership attitudes of adolescents in two educational contexts: School and scouting. Italian Journal of Educational Research, 6(11), 95-111.

European Commission (2012). Citizenship education in Europe. Bruxelles: Educational, Audiovisual, and Culture Executive Agency.

Gonyea, R. M. (2005). Self-reported data in institutional research: Review and recommendations. In P. D. Umbach (Ed.), Survey research (≪New Directions in Institutional Research≫, no. 127, pp. 73-89). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hannah, S. T., Avolio, B. J., Luthans, F., & Harms, P. D. (2008). Leadership efficacy: Review and future directions. Leadership Quarterly, 19, 669-692.

Herzog, S., & Bowman, N. A. (Eds.). (2011). Validity and limitations of student self-report data. (≪New Directions for Institutional Research≫, no. 150). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

HERI – Higher Education Research Institute (1996). A social change model of leadership development. College Park, MD: National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.

Hoskins, B. L., & Mascherini, M. (2009). Measuring active citizenship through the development of a composite indicator. Social Indicators Research, 90, 459-488.

Howard, G. S. (1980). Response shift bias: A problem in evaluating interventions with pre/post self-reports. Evaluation Review, 4, 93-106.

Howard, G. S., & Dailey, P. R. (1979). Response-shift bias: A source of contamination in self-report measures. Journal of Applied Psychology, 64, 144-150.

Humphreys, M. J. (2011). A new generational of leaders for Eastern Europe: Values and attitudes for active citizenship. Christian Higher Education, 10, 215-236.

Kark, R., & Van Dijk, D. (2007). Motivation to lead, motivation to follow: The role of the self-regulatory focus in leadership processes. Academy of Management Review, 32, 500-528.

Kezar, A. J., Carducci, R., & Contreras-McGavin, M. (2006). Rethinking the ≪L≫ word in higher education. ASHE Higher Education Report, 31(6). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Komives, S. R. (2011). Advancing leadership education. In S. R. Komives, J. P. Dugan, J. E. Owen, W. Wagner, C. Slack, & Associates, Handbook for student leadership development (pp. 1-34). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Komives, S. R., & Dugan, J. P. (2010). Contemporary leadership theories. In R. A. Couto (Ed.), Political and civic leadership (pp. 109-125). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Komives, S. R., Longerbeam, S., Owen, J. O., Mainella, F. C., & Osteen, L. (2006). A leadership identity development model: Applications from a grounded theory. Journal of College Student Development, 47, 401-418.

Komives, S. R., Wagner, W., & Associates (2009). Leadership for a better world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators & American College Personnel Association (2004). Learning reconsidered. Washington, DC: NASPA - ACPA.

Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Owen, J. E. (2012). Findings from the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership institutional survey. College Park, MD: National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.

Pascarella, E. T. (2001). Using student self-reported gains to estimate college impact: A cautionary tale. Journal of College Student Development, 42, 488-492.

Pike, G. (1999). The constant error of the halo in educational outcomes research. Research in Higher Education, 40, 61-86.

Pike, G. (2011). Using college students’ self-reported learning outcomes in scholarly research. In N. A. Bowman & S. Herzog (Eds.), Validity and limitations of student self-report data (≪New Directions in Institutional Research≫, no. 150, pp. 41-58). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Porter, S. R. (2011). Do college student surveys have any validity? The Review of Higher Education, 35, 45-76.

Posner, B. Z. (2012). Effectively measuring student leadership. Administrative Sciences, 2, 221-234.

Rohs, F. R. (2002). Improving the evaluation of leadership programs: Control response shift. Journal of Leadership Education, 1(2), 1-12.

Rohs, F. R., & Langone, C. A. (1997). Increased accuracy in measuring leadership impacts. Journal of Leadership Studies, 4(1), 150-158.

Rosch, D. M., & Schwartz, L. M. (2009). Potential issues and pitfalls in outcomes assessment in leadership education. Journal of Leadership Education, 8(1), 177-194.

Turrentine, C. G. (2001). A comparison of self-assessment and peer assessment of leadership skills. NASPA Journal, 38, 361-371.

Tyree, T. M. (1998). Designing an instrument to measure socially responsible leadership using the social change model of leadership development. Dissertation Abstracts International, 59(6), 1945. AAT 9836493.

Wabash National Study, see: http://www.liberalarts.wabash.edu

Wild, D., Grove, A., Martin, M., Eremenco, S., McElroy, S. Verjee-Lorenz, A. et al. (2005). Principals of good practice for the translation and cultural adaptation process for patient-reported outcomes measures: Report from the ISPOR task force for translation and cultural adaptation. Value in Health, 8, 94-104.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2015-012-duga


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Giuditta Alessandrini - Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi