An analysis of leadership effectiveness in the Naval surface community.
Kaplan, Bradley J.
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This study attempts to provide empirical data which will show how and to what extent specific styles of leadership may maximize the performance and retention of units within the Navy. The study focuses upon a sample of twenty comparable destroyers and frigates within the Pacific Fleet. Leadership-style data were collected from the first and second officers in command of these units (CO and XO) by means of Fleishman's Leadership Opinion Questionnaire (LOQ), a self administering inventory which measures two important dimensions of leadership behaviors consideration, relating to the leader's degree of socio-emotional emphasis; and structure, relating to the leader's degree of task-related emphasis. These leadership-style data were compared with six measures of unit effectiveness: overall mission readiness (OVL) , personnel readiness (PER) , supply readiness (S'JP) , equipment readiness (EQP) , training readiness (TNG) . and retention (RET) . These measures were collected for a six month period in which the CO and XO of each unit had functioned as a "dual leadership" team. The results of this study indicate that the CO either tends to perform both the task-related and socio-emotional functions, or the CO and XO appear to divide these functions, with the CO performing the socio-emotional function, and the XO performing the task-related function. The results also indicate that the leadership styles of the CO and XO appear to exert the most influence upon overall mission readiness and retention, while unit training readiness appears to be unrelated to the leadership style of either the GO or XO . More specifically, the task-related emphasis of both the CO and XO was found to have a significant positive correlation with overall unit readiness. Further analysis indicated that the GO'S task-related emphasis has a significant positive correlation with unit personnel readiness, while the task-related emphasis of the XC has a significant positive correlation with both unit supply and equipment readiness. Finally, the socio-emotional emphasis of the CO, and to a lesser extent the XO , was found to have a significant positive correlation with unit retention. These results suggest that units are likely to be most effective with respect to performance and retention when the first and second in command are high in both the socio-emotional and task-related dimensions.
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