Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Russell Waugh


This study aims to investigate self-reported managerial leadership competencies of middle-level managers in business organisations in Australia, and stems from the Karpin Report (1995) on perceived weaknesses in Leader hip and Management skills in Australia. The report leads to a need to investigate the perceptions of the current middle level business managers in regard to leadership competency and to develop a scale to measure leadership competency. A model of leadership competency, based on a literature review, was developed for this study and involves four aspects: Leading, Managing, Communicating and Best Practice. Data were collected in two parts-a questionnaire and interviews. The initial questionnaire involved 27 stem-items covering four aspects and answered in three self reported perspectives (ideal, capability and actual behaviour). A sample of300 mid•level managers from manufacturing, mining, retail and service industries answered the questionnaire. Twenty-nine of the managers were interviewed to investigate the perceptions of middle-level managers towards the four leadership competencies (leading, managing, communicating and best practice), and the reasons that they gave for these perceptions. Data were analysed in three parts. A Rasch measurement analysis (part I) was used to create a linear scale of 18 stem-items (54 items) in which competency measures were calibrated on the same scale as the item difficulties. Open-ended questions (part 2) and interview data (part 3) were analysed qualitatively.

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