How To (and How Not To) Assess the Integrity of Managers (19 pages)

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“always gets even”). Some items concern breaking rules (e.g., “would steal from the organization”),
and some concern expectations about how a manager would treat the person providing the ratings
(e.g., “would allow me to be blamed for his or her mistakes,” “would lie to me”). Most of the items
ask the rater to estimate the likelihood that a leader would engage in an unethical behavior.
Confirmatory factor analysis of data from multiple independent samples indicates that the 31 items
cohere in one general factor (Craig & Gustafson, 1998). Furthermore, ratings on the PLIS do not
appear to be distorted by impression management; in both a student and a field sample, PLIS ratings
were unrelated to responding in a socially desirable manner (Craig & Gustafson, 1998). Also,
subordinate ratings on the PLIS are highly correlated with their job satisfaction and desire to quit
(Craig & Gustafson, 1998). However, there is no research regarding the extent to which the PLIS
identifies managers with low integrity or how it compares with other measures that predict
leadership effectiveness.

Method

We conducted a study with a short form of the PLIS to determine whether it would identify
managers with integrity issues. We asked two questions. First, will this method place managers at
the low end of the integrity continuum? Second, will it predict leadership effectiveness?

Participants.

We gathered data from 80 employed MBA students at a university in the

southeastern United States. They received extra credit for participating in the study. The participants
were 60% male, ranging in age from 24 to 44 (M

ϭ 31.5 years), with from 2 to 23 years of job

experience (M

ϭ 9.2 years). They reported currently working in a variety of industries, and most

reported being in “middle management.” We asked participants to rate their job satisfaction and then
to rate their supervisor on a series of leadership scales. They reported working for their supervisors
between one and 12 years (M

ϭ 3.63 years); 70% of the supervisors were male.

Measures.

Participants rated their supervisors using the Initiating Structure and Consider-

ation scales of the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire—form XII (Stogdill, 1963). These
scales are the most valid measures of the constructs from the two-factor leader behavior paradigm
(Judge, Piccolo, & Ilies, 2004). Each scale includes 10 items (sample Initiating Structure item: “lets
employees know what is expected of them”; Consideration item: “looks out for the personal welfare
of employees”). Cronbach’s coefficient alpha for each scale was .91.

We used a short version of the PLIS to represent the dubious reputation approach to Perceived

Integrity. A confirmatory factor analysis indicated that this eight-item version of the scale measured
a single general factor, as does the full 31-item scale (Craig, n.d.). Further, the short version
correlates .95 with the full version (Craig, n.d.). In our sample of ratings on the short version, there
was also strong evidence for a single dominant factor (the first eigenvalue was eight times larger
than the second, which was only 1.6 times larger than the third) and Cronbach’s coefficient alpha
was .93.

Participants rated their managers for Initiating Structure, Consideration, and Perceived Integrity

on a five-point response scale representing how well the items described their manager, ranging
from “0

ϭ not all” to “4 ϭ perfectly.”

We also collected two scores that represent effective leadership. We used Brayfield and Rothe’s

(1951) five-item scale to measure subordinate job satisfaction (sample item, “I find real enjoyment
in my work”). We used Tsui’s (1984) three-item reputational effectiveness scale to measure the
perceived effectiveness of the supervisors (sample item: “This manager absolutely meets my
expectations in his or her managerial roles and responsibilities”). Participants rated Job Satisfaction
and Perceived Effectiveness using a seven-point response scale ranging from “1

ϭ completely

disagree” to “7

ϭ completely agree.” Both scales were internally consistent (Cronbach’s alpha ϭ .87

for Job Satisfaction, .90 for Perceived Effectiveness). Descriptive statistics were M

ϭ 4.07,

SD

ϭ 1.37 for Job Satisfaction and M ϭ 3.96, SD ϭ 1.69 for Perceived Effectiveness.

Results

Higher scores are more desirable on Initiating Structure and Consideration; because the PLIS items
describe unethical behavior, higher scores are less desirable. To make the scales comparable, we

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SPECIAL ISSUE: HOW TO ASSESS INTEGRITY

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