The Development and Initial Validation of a Measure of Small Group Leadership Self-Efficacy



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Small group leadership self-efficacy is conceptualized as an individual?s degree of confidence in his/her ability to successfully assume a leadership role in a small group. The task specificity of self-efficacy and the conceptualization of leadership as context bound informs the need for a small group leadership self-efficacy measure that is a superior operationalization of the specified construct than extant measures of leadership self-efficacy in the context of small group leadership. Consequently, the purposes of this study were: (a) to develop a psychometrically sound self-report measure of small group leadership self-efficacy and establish its underlying structure through factor analytic procedures, and (b) to present preliminary validity evidence for the measure.

In order to develop a representative item pool for the posited small group leadership self-efficacy dimensions, relevant theory was reviewed and extant literature was surveyed, with special attention to factor analytic studies. Using the data of 568 undergraduate students collected online, Study 1 investigated the factor structure of the initial 101-item measure. This resulted in the refinement and reduction of the initial measure to a 32-item measure, consisting of 5 dimensions. However, in Study 2, factor analyzing data collected from 296 undergraduate students who completed only the 32 items retained in Study 1 and the item-to-category sorts of 7 independent judges resulted in the confirmation of a second-order small group leadership self-efficacy factor structure with 2 dimensions (initiating structure and consideration) consisting of 23 items that best captured the content domain of the construct. The final 23-item measure of small group leadership self-efficacy was embedded into a nomological network where its relationships with four variables of interest was tested and results revealed that previous small group leadership experience, valence of previous small group leadership experience, and subjective vitality are correlates of small group leadership self-efficacy.

The results of the present work have both theoretical and practical implications. An outcome of this study is a psychometrically sound measure of small group leadership self-efficacy which has the potential for high utility in both applied and scientific settings. These implications as well as possible directions for future research are identified and discussed.