Development of an Effective Organizational Performance Instrument to Facilitate Post-Secondary Institutional Change: A Variation on Likert's Management Systems 1-5



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This study stemmed from the need to develop an instrument for assessing the characteristics of an organization in terms of internal consistency of leadership behavior, interaction-influences between colleagues, communication processes, and employee motivation in institutions of post-secondary education. Commonly used surveys for educational environments only partially measure the characteristics of an organization in regard to human interactions and the implications of leadership behavior. The instrument is based on a survey design by Rensis Likert who justified the need for a systematic approach because internal consistency has far-reaching consequences for organizational health. Likert put forward a theory of initially four management systems and conceptualized a for its time revolutionary fifth system, which is congruent to principles of shared leadership. Although the theory proofed to be greatly beneficial in industrial work environments, there is a paucity in research as to what extent the theory is transferable to higher education. A survey was disseminated online to three post-secondary institutions. An exploratory-confirmatory factor analysis indicated five latent principles of the upgraded instruments, i.e., interaction-influence processes, leadership process, collaborative effectiveness, problem-solving, and motivational forces. The reliability measured by Cronbach's α for each factor ranges from .72 to .81, based on a total of 23 questions. As a result, a short and reliable questionnaire was successfully developed, that measures organizational/institutional performance characteristics based on Likert's theory of management Systems 1–5. The received data (N = 206) shows that employee perceptions of their work environment differ tremendously which suggests institutional inconsistencies. The question, therefore, arises as to whether this must be an inevitable condition of post-secondary educational institutions or to what extent future results of this instrument can be used to facilitate organizational and institutional change.



Administration, Higher Education Leadership, Instrument Development, Likert Management Systems, Post-Secondary Education, Survey