International Journal onLifelong EducationandLeadership (2018),4(2) 32
Investigation of College Students’ Capability of Self-Leadership*
Hakan KÖR1, Hasan ERBAY2, Melih ENGİN3, Hamit AKSOY4
1Asst.Assoc.Dr.,HititUniversity,SungurluVocationalSchool, Departmentof Computer Technologies Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2Prof. Dr., Kırıkkale University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Computer Engineering Email: email@example.com
3Asst. Assoc. Dr., Uludağ University, İnegöl Faculty of Business, Department of Management Information Systems Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4Lecturer, Hitit University, Sungurlu Vocational School, Department of Computer Technologies Email: email@example.com
Self-leadership means, in a common sense, “the process of leading one’s self with the achievements of individual and organizational success for gaining self- motivation.” Self-leadership is also a concept that is linked and nested with one’s self- motivating efforts. Self-leadership forms the basis of participativ e leadership as a type of leadership closely associated with the perception of gaining benefits from oneself. So primarily people should be able to lead themselves and, later on, they must be able to share the process with other individuals. Researchers seem to have adopted three self-leading strategies including behaviororiented, natural reward, and creative idea model strategies. In the present study, private and public sector employees of different fields of operation were evaluated applying self-leadership scales. The objective of the study is to compare the self-leadership abilities of students from various university departments. In the study, factors affecting self-leadership were determined by implementing the self- leadership scale to 148 students from different departments. In addition, a reliability and factor analysis tests were conducted. In results of the study, Cronbach’s-Alfa rates were determined as 0.89 for all subjects, which is highly reliable. The number of the factors were gathered under 8 titles in the Turkish version of the scale while the original had 9 factors. In the present study, the factors “determining the target” and “evaluating opinions/ideas” were excluded, and the items were gathered under 7 factors. These factors include imagination of successful performance, selfpunishment, assigning reminders for yourself, talking to yourself, self-observation, focusing on natural awards, and the reliability coefficients of these factors are respectively 0.868, 0.761, 0.742, 0.819, 0.783, 0.712 and 0.767. Moreover, in scope of the study, the researcher analyzed the self-leadership abilities of the departments, and observed significant differences on self-leadership abilities considering demographic and departmental differences.
Key words: Self-leadership, Leadership of oneself, Leading oneself, Leadership abilities
The stress and complicated workplace environment, defined by globalization, rapid improvements in technology, economic crises, decreasing resources, and increasing costs, put burden on leaders’ shoulders (Lovelace et al., 2007). Moreover, due to the rapid changes in all fields, it is getting harder to make futur e predictions. In contrast to those improvements, corporations need captain-like leaders for rescuing thei r ships from the big, wavy storms. Besides, social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986) attaches importance to one’s selfmanaging and auditing capability when difficult and important tasks are encountered. In recent years, researchers have placed importance on their research and have found the fact of and conducting a large number of research studies regarding the topic (Yavuz, 2010). Throughout the research, a wide range of leadership definitions and leadership types were emphasized. International Journal onLifelong EducationandLeadership (2018),4(2) 33 Leadership is people’s effort of prompting their followers to reach independently or mutually determi ned targets through political, economic, and related factors (Burn, 1978). According to Eren (1998), leadershi p is the overall information and ability required for drawing followers’ attentions to determined targets. In other words, leadership is the ability to persuade people to carry them to previously-determined targets (Davis, 1988). According to various scientists, when leadership types and related approaches were examined, it can be observed that researchers encounter quite a large number of concepts considering leadership concept such as autocratical, acknowledged the complete free, participant or democratic (Sinha, 1995), charismatic (Bass and Avalio, 1992), transforms and interactionist sharer (Eren, 1998; Carson et al., 2007), and self -leadershi p (Manz, 1986). In the study, results of the self-leadership scale, implemented to 148 university students, who are studying in different departments, have been analyzed. Differences of students’ self-leadership abilities from their demograLiteraturephic structures and study departments were determined. According to the results of the analysis, 7 factors have been found to have effects on the self-leadership abilities of students. These factors are imagining solid performance by setting target for oneself, imagining, assigning reminders for oneself, talking to oneself, selfpunishing, and self-rewarding. Moreover, as a result of the study, self-leadershi p abilities have been observed to differ by the study departments. Literature The self-leadership concept has developed as an extension of the inspiration of Kerr and Jermier (1978) which arose from the idea that self-managing is based on the theory of self-control, instead of the concept of leadership (Manz and Sims, 1980). The substructure consists of the concepts of self -organizing, self-control (Houghton and Neck, 2002), self-impress, and self-managing (Neck and Houghton, 2006). The very first definition of self-leadership was given by Manz in 1986 as “the process of one’s self leading with the achievements of individual and organizational success which is gained through self -motivation.” The concept of self-leadership is formed by the comprehensive actions which concentrates on effective behaviors and ideas for self-impressing (Manz 1986). Self-leadership consists of the influence that people apply on themselves to motivate and direct themselves to perform the desired actions (Manz, 1992). Self-leading is an individual influencing process consisting of self-directing and self-motivating efforts required for an individual’s achievement (Neck and Manz, 1995). Self-leadership is all the strategies which concentrates on behaviors and ideas practicable for individuals’ influencing of themselves. In this type of leadership, managing their personal behaviors are essential for individuals and any efforts performed for directing themselves are included in the scope of the leadership (Paksoy, 2002). This leadership has been defined as a process consisting of influencing, controlling, and directing the behaviors of oneself by using special behavior models and cognitive strategies (Houghton and Neck, 2002). The scholars examine the concept of self-leadership under three basic categories including (a) behavior oriented strategies, (b) natural reward strategies, and (c) creative idea model strategies (Houghton and Neck 2002; Neck and Houghton 2006). a) Behavior-Focused Strategies: It is the struggle of raising individual awareness for making one’s self behavior management easier (Manz and Neck, 2004). This strategy is composed of the subcategories of setting a target for oneself, self-observing, self-rewarding, self-punishing, and settingself-reminders. Goal Settings: Having personal targets that enables an individual to direct his or her behaviors and setting a target for him or herself can be stated as these are the most important ones among those strategies . Research shows that setting challenging targets for an individual can increase his or her performanc e significantly (Locke and Latham 2002; Neck and Houghton 2006; Politis, 2006). Self-rewarding: Self-rewarding is one of the methods that motivates individuals and helps them control their behaviors (Manz 1992). Self-rewarding can be either non-physical or as simple as one’s self- appreciation after an achievement and playing the favourite song as a reward. It can also be physical like a special journey as a selfreward after the successful completion of a project (D’Intino et al. 2007). In other words, it is one’s self rewarding in either physical or a non-physical way as a result of an individuals’ desired and expected behaviors (Manz, Sims 1980). Self-punishment: In a similar way to the rewarding, one’s preference for self-punishing methods can also be used as a tool for directing behaviors. In this way, the aim of self-punishing is to extinguish non-desired behaviors and in consequence of those behaviors to be expected to be directed in desired ways (Neck and Houghton 2006). However, the strategy of self-punishing may affect an individual negatively and cause a decrease in performance when it is used perpetually (Manz 1992). Self-monitoring: In a similar way to the rewarding, one’s preference for self-punishing methods is also a tool for directing behaviors. In this way, it is aimed to extinguish non-desired behaviors and in consequence International Journal onLifelong EducationandLeadership (2018),4(2) 34 of those behaviors to be expected to be directed in desired ways (Neck and Houghton 2006). However, the strategy of self-punishing may affect an individual negatively and cause a decrease in performance when it is used perpetually (Manz 1992). Clues strategies: This strategy provides a reminder for an individual about important issues that are required to be done, by reminding physical objects or other individuals, which could be regarded reminders (Manz 1992, Neck et al.,. 2006). Thus, an individual perceives the objects and people as guides and when he/she encounters one of these, he/she remembers the things to be done (Manz 1992). b) Developing Constructive Thinking Patterns: The model includes extinguishing ineffectual beliefs and predictions and applying imagining and talking to oneself in a positive manner. On this point, the concentrated topic is an individual’s managing and controlling ability of his or her mental models. (Burns 1980; Ellis1977). This strategy consists of, from one perspective, imagining solid performance, talking to oneself, evaluati ng self-ideas (Tabak vd., 2013) evaluating and reorganizing unrealistic beliefs and ideas to imagine a solid performance (Houghton and Neck, 2002) from the other perspective. By using the creative idea model, an individual can transform negative and disruptive internal speech to positive and creative internal speech. Internal speech, describes an individual’s talking to oneself and mental self-evaluation (Neck and Houghton, 2006). The creative idea model predicts an individual finding natural rewards about his or her profession, solving the problems, and evaluating their self-leadership (Roberts and Foti, 1998). The concept involves imagining of the consummation accomplishedly before working on a study or a task (D’Intino et al., 2007). c) Natural reward strategies: This strategy means one’s efforts to focus on the undesired aspects of an action or activity, or one’s struggles to build up the conditions under which she/he is motivated and rewarded by the action or activity itself (Houghton and Yoho, 2005). The reward strategy includes two basic subjects. The first one is to attach likeable and enjoyable activities to work so that the work itself is a natural reward. The second one includes putting the unlikeable portion of the work to one side and concentrati ng on the parts that can be seen as natural reward or the likeable portion (D’Intino et al., 2007). In short, the strategy increases an individual’s self-determination, and the feeling of sufficiency provides concentrati on on the likeable parts of the work (Alves et al.,2006). Although it is a play, the message of Massinger mentions academicians and leaders that admit self -control as the prerequisite for a large team and leadership that is critical for the success of modern corporations (Lawrence and Lorsch, 1967; Whetten and Cameron, 2011). Most importantly, self-leadership literature shows that the positive effects of changes in self-leadership on someone else is a spillover benefit (Phillips et al., 2017). Figure 1. Self-leadership Strategies Figure 1 shows the strategies and subcategories included in the self-leadership concept. The self- leadership concept is composed of three main titles which are behavior-focused strategies, constructiv e thinking patterns and natural reward strategies. The title of ‘behavior-focused strategies’ includes 5 sub- titles which are given as goal setting, self-rewarding, self-punishment, self-monitoring and clues strategies . The ‘constructive thinking patterns’, on the other hand, includes three main sub-titles as desiring successful performance by determining goals, self-talking and assessing own thoughts and ideas. Method In this part of the research, sample selection, target population of the study, data collection tools, validity and reliability data, tools, and techniques used for the analysis have been included. International Journal onLifelong EducationandLeadership (2018),4(2) 35 Purpose of the research: This research has been conducted with the purpose of determining the differences in the self-leadership abilities of university students according to their demographic structures and study departments. Selection of Sample and Target Population: The target population has been formed by students of Hitit University Sungurlu Vocational School of Higher Education. The sample selection has been randomly made among the students of five different departments of vocational schools of higher education which have completed the survey in full. Hypothesis of the research: In the research, to examine those relations, the hypotheses listed below are tested: H1. There is a relation between demographic variables and self-leadership scale scores. H1.1. There are significant differences between genders of the students and self-leadership scores. H1.2. There are significant differences between ages of the students and self-leadership scores. H1.3. There are significant differences between type of high schools that students graduated from and selfleadership scores. H.1.4. There are significant differences between the time that students spend in university and self – leadership scores. H2. There are significant differences between departments of students and self-leadership scale scores. Data collection tools: The self-leadership scale used in the research has been formed by translation made by Tabak and the others (2013) which has 3 dimensions, 8 sub-scales, and 29 subjects. First of all, the scale with 35 subjects developed by Anderson and Prussia (1997) and validated by Houghton and Neck (2002) has been reorganized and translated to Turkish. According to the study made by Tabak and the others (2013), the Turkish form of the study including 29 subjects and 3 dimensions of self-leadership scale has been declared to be reliable, valid, and available for application in Turkey. The reliability quotient of sub – sizes of Turkish translation is available. The reliability quotient of the scale has been calculated as 0,87. Validity and Reliability Information: Reliability and factor analysis of the scale were calculated. Cronbac h – alfa value has been determined as 0.89 and reliable on high levels. Factor numbers of the scale have been gathered under 7 factors while the original scale had 9 factors. Imagining a solid performance by setting personal targets, assigning reminders for oneself, talking to oneself, self-punishing, self-rewarding, target setting, and reliability factors are 0.870, 0.801, 0.796, 0.702, 0.783, 0.770, 0.716 respectively. Self-leadershi p abilities have been found to be different among departments, and statistical data was included in results section. While the scale factor amount was 9 in the original scale, this number reduced to 8 during the adaptation of the scale into Turkish by Tabak and his colleagues (2013). The scale items, in this project, were gathered under 7 factors. Table 1. Factor Analysis Result Items Weights of the factor items 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 S23 0.775 S22 0.754 S25 0.713 S24 0.699 S27 0.609 S26 0.443 S20 0.404 S12 0.848 S21 0.827 S5 0.736 S15 0.786 S7 0.712 S16 0.412 S8 S9 0.751 S18 0.569 S14 0.536 S17 0.480 International Journal onLifelong EducationandLeadership (2018),4(2) 36 S11 0.454 S19 0.819 S10 0.781 S3 0.645 S1 0.822 S4 0.573 S2 0.474 S29 0.787 S6 0.517 S13 0.508 S28 0.465 Table 1 demonstrates item charge and factors which is attained after factor analysis. These factors, imagination of successful performance, self-punishment, detection of reminders for himself, speak to himself, self-observation, focusing of thoughts on natural awards and their rel iability coefficients Cronbach’s Alpha values are respectively 0.868, 0.761, 0.742, 0.819,0.783, 0.712 and 0.767.Itis determined that there are differences between section’s self-leadership skills andstatistical data whichare included in findings part. Findings In this section, the base statistics defining sample selection and results of the applied analysis have been included. Table 2. Statistics defining demographic structure Variables Value f Percent(%) Gender Male 58 39.2 Women 90 60.8 18-19 27 18.2 Age 20-21 91 61.5 22+ 30 20.3 Computer Programming 38 25.7 Child Development 37 25.0 Department For. Trade 23 15.5 Buss. Adm. 20 13.5 Health Programs 30 20.3 1 48 32.4 Time spent in university 2 86 58.1 3++ 14 9.5 Table 2 presents the statistics of the sample that affect the demographic structure. 60,8% of the sample are women. Moreover, %61,5 of the sample is between 20-21 years of age and 58,1% of sample have spent 2 years inuniversity. Table 3. Results of t-test regarding gender and high school type Value N X S Sd t p Gender Male 58 3.7 0.498 146 1.238 0.05 Female 90 3.83 0.701 High School Type Vocational School 92 3.76799 0.65735 138 0.652 0.67 Reg. High School 48 3.84195 0.59564 When Table 3 has been analyzed, self-leadership scores have found to differ regarding gender (t(146)=1.238, p=0.05), however, have found that do not differ according to the high school type (t(138)=0.652, p=0.67). When table above is analyzed self-leadership scores of women (X=3.83) showed to be greater than scores of men (X=3.7). International Journal onLifelong EducationandLeadership (2018),4(2) 37 Table 4. ANOVA test results regarding age group of students Variable Resource of Variance Sum of Squares Sd Average f p Significant Inter Group 2.20411 2 1.10205 2.83491 0.06 – Age In-group 56.3678 145 0.38874 Total 58.5719 147 Table 4 shows ANOVA test results regarding the age groups of the students. According to the results, there is not a significant difference between age groups. Table 5. ANOVA test results regarding the departments of students Variable Resource of Sum of Sd Average f p Significant Inter Group 5.41012 4 1.353 3.638 0.007 – Department In-group 53.1618 143 0.372 Total 58.5719 147 According to the ANOVA test results given in Table 4, study departments were found to effect the self – leadership scores (F(4-143) = 3.638, p = 0.007). Moreover, when the Levene test, which has been made to observe homogeneous results, and results of the Table 5 have been examined, variances were found to not to be distributed equally (p<0.05). Table 6. Homogeneity test of variances Levene Statistic df1 df2 p 4.020 4 143 0.004 Because of that reason, in order to examine the group differences, prefer Tamhane test, which is a post hoc test, were applied. Due to this calculation, the results listed in Table 6 have been obtained. According to the Tamhane Test results in Table 6, there is a significant difference between healthcare programs (X = 4.00), business administration (X = 3.93), and computer sciences (X = 3.48). Therefore, there is quite a few differences among departments. Table 7. Inter-departm ent self-leadership scale score differences Mean Difference (I-J) 95% Confidence Interval Department Std. Error Sig. Lower Bound Upper Bound Computer Sciences Child Dev -0.33180 0.15896 0.338 -0.7908 0.1272 Foreign Trade -0.27346 0.18584 0.799 -0.8212 0.2743 Bus. Adm. -0.45254* 0.12901 0.009 -0.8287 -0.0764 Healthcare Programs -0.52208* 0.13405 0.002 -0.9109 -0.1333 Computer Sciences 0.33180 0.15896 0.338 -0.1272 0.7908 Child Dev. Foreign Trade 0.05835 0.19002 10.000 -0.5004 0.6171 Bus. Adm. -0.12074 0.13496 0.991 -0.5148 0.2734 Healthcare Programs -0.19028 0.13978 0.860 -0.5964 0.2158 Computer Sciences 0.27346 0.18584 0.799 -0.2743 0.8212 Foreign Trade Child Dev. -0.05835 0.19002 10.000 -0.6171 0.5004 Bus. Adm. -0.17909 0.16578 0.967 -0.6790 0.3208 Healthcare Programs -0.24863 0.16973 0.808 -0.7570 0.2598 Computer Sciences 0.45254* 0.12901 0.009 0.0764 0.8287 Bus. Adm. Child Dev. 0.12074 0.13496 0.991 -0.2734 0.5148 Foreign Trade 0.17909 0.16578 0.967 -0.3208 0.6790 Healthcare Programs -0.06954 0.10448 0.999 -0.3762 0.2371 Computer Sciences 0.52208* 0.13405 0.002 0.1333 0.9109 Healthcare Programs Child Dev. 0.19028 0.13978 0.860 -0.2158 0.5964 Foreign Trade 0.24863 0.16973 0.808 -0.2598 0.7570 Bus. Adm. 0.06954 0.10448 0.999 -0.2371 0.3762 International Journal onLifelong EducationandLeadership (2018),4(2) 38 Kerr, S. and J.M. Jermier, (1978). “ Substitutes for Leadership: Their Meaning and Measurement”, Organization Behavior and Human Performance, 22, 375- 403. Table 8. ANOVA test results with respect to time spent in university by students Variable Resource of Sum of Sd Avg. of f p Significant Inter-Group 0.638 2 0.319 0.799 0.452 – Department Within the 57.934 145 0.400 Total 58.572 147 According to the ANOVA test results , regarding the time spent at university by student in Table 8, there is not a significant difference between self-leadership scores and time spent inuniversity. Results, Conclusions and Recommendations The scale defined as leading oneself or self-leadership, has been developed participating to university students in 2002 by Houghton and Neck. However, the study may have different results when it is applied in different cultural structures of different countries (Alves et al., 2006). The studies conducted in China have showed that the self-leadership concept has been distinctly perceived in Chinese culture and the scale was found to have six factors which is different from the original. It has been declared by Neubert and Wu (2006) that the scale applied and developed in the US sample group has not been perceived in a similar way to Chinese workers’ perception. Consequently, they have revealed that the self-leadership scale has required to be performed with great numbers of empirical research in countries that do not share the western culture. Since according to the results of the research, the scales must be reorganized so that it can be universal in cultural dimensions. According to the results of the self-leadership scale applied in Turkey at Hitit University, genders and departments of the students have been found to have relations with the scores of the scale and the results have been organized in table format. In other words, it was proved that H1.1 and H2 hypotheses were approved and admitted which are perceived as a justification of the H1 hypothesis. 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