Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Dynamic Leadership: An Expansion of Self Determination Theory

Dynamic Leadership: An Expansion of Self Determination Theory

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To confirm this theory, we conducted a paired-samples t-test to compare the engagement level by using the mean of items in Quadrant I and Quadrant IV. The results show that participants’ average engagement scores are higher for supportive leadership behaviors (M = 2.76, SD = 0.33) than for thwarting leadership behaviors (M = 1.32, SD = 0.31) and the difference between these two leadership behaviors are statistically significant (t = 37.51, p < .001). Thus, upside of Leading with Heart leadership behaviors are associated with higher engagement level than the downside of Leading with Backbone leadership behaviors.

To expand the SDT theory by incorporating the Polarity thinking, we focused on the positive engagement outcome of Leading with Backbone leadership behaviors (illustrated by Quadrant III: Leading with Backbone upside) as well as the negative engagement outcome of Leading with Heart leadership behaviors (illustrated by Quadrant II: Leading with Heart downside). Again, we conducted a paired-samples t-test on mean of items in Quadrant III and Quadrant II. The results show that participants’ average engagement scores are higher for the upside of Leading with Backbone leadership behaviors (M = 2.80, SD = 0.32) than for the downside of Leading with Heart leadership behaviors (M = 1.60, SD = 0.28) and the difference between these two leadership behaviors is also statistically significant (t = 35.66, p < .001). Thus, upside of Leading with Backbone leadership behaviors is associated with a higher engagement level than the downside of Leading with Heart leadership behaviors.

Since we assumed that both upside of Leading with Backbone and upside of Leading with Heart leadership behaviors are associated with higher levels of employee engagement, we also ran a correlation between Quadrants I and III to verify if they are highly correlated. Similarly, a correlation between Quadrants II and IV was used to verify if the downside of Leading with Heart is similar to the downside of Leading with Backbone leadership behaviors. The results of correlation showed that Quadrants I and III are positively and significantly correlated (r = 0.78, p < .001); and Quadrants II and IV are also positively and significantly correlated (r = 0.28, p < .001).

The Birth of a New Dynamic Leadership Assessment

Our research indicates that there are additional leadership skillsets that both positively and negatively impact engagement that were not previously addressed by SDT. This led us to develop a more dynamic and comprehensive model of leadership effectiveness. Figure 2 illustrates our current version of the Dynamic Engagement Model™. The three psychological needs are represented in the circles on the left: Connected, Valued, and Empowered. Instead of a Polarity, representing two poles, this is called a Multarity, representing three poles interacting and interdependent upon each other. Within each of the poles, we called out common polarities or tensions that leaders are often struggling to navigate through. Our assessment tool is to help leaders identify their effectiveness in leveraging the upsides of these Polarities.

 

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