Date of Award

Fall 1987

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy and Leadership


A growing body of theory and research from the fields of leadership and cognitive moral development suggests that dimensions of leadership style and moral reasoning may be related social phenomena. Analogous paradigms appear within the literature from each field which support the proposition that personality facets may function as antecedents of certain attitudes. These attitudes can in turn serve as important predictors of behavior. This study addressed the first of the two constructions within the model, namely, the interrelationship of the personality facet of moral reasoning as assessed by the Defining Issues Test and attitudes associated with the act of leading as assessed by the Leadership Opinion Questionnaire. The study consisted of 173 graduate students in Business Administration who reported having leadership experience in formal work settings. Under investigation were the relationships among measures of moral reasoning, specifically, Principled thinking (P) and an overall developmental index (D), and two general attitudinal dimensions of leadership style, consideration (C) and Structure (S) and/or nine theoretical aspects represented therein, including (l) Supportive, (2) Equalitarian, (3) Flexible/ Receptive to Change, (4) Non-punitive, (5) System Maintaining., (6) Production Oriented, (7) Directive, (8) Flexible/ Innovative, and (9) Autocratic/ Punitive. Analytic techniques employed toward this end included zero order correlation, simple and multiple regression, principal component analysis, two common factor analyses and canonical correlation. Results 1. The P score of the OIT was inversely related to the Structure dimension of leadership style across analytic methods. 2. Attempts to cross validate the relationships were unsuccessful. 3. The P score of the DIT was positively related to the Equalitarian aspect of Consideration and inversely related to Directive and Autocratic/ Punitive aspects of Structure.



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