Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

William H. Young, III, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Waynne B. James, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Katerina Annaraud, Ph.D.


Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, leadership, Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)


The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between leaders’ self-awareness and their effectiveness. The population included leaders with at least five years of experience in a leadership role. Participants were recruited by snowball sampling methods; the researcher used a diverse network of professionals to recruit other leaders from diverse industries. Each leader completed a 35-survey questionnaire along with demographic questions (gender, education, years in leadership role, industry), and was required to ask at least four direct reports to complete the 35 questions about observed behaviors of their leader. After removing incomplete responses, the final sample included N = 179 leaders, each with at least four direct reports (N = 761).

Data were collected using three well-established, validated research instruments for this quantitative correlational study: the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI) (Boyatzis, 2007), the Leadership Practices Inventory SELF (LPI-SELF) (Kouzes & Posner, 2013b) and the Leadership Practices Inventory OBSERVER (LPI-OBSERVER) (Kouzes & Posner, 2013a). LPI surveys provided five independent leadership competency scores: Modeling the Way, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Challenging the Process, Enabling Others to Act, and Encouraging the Heart (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Qualtrics, an approved third-party online survey platform, was used to collect and analyze study questions.

The study measured direction and strength of leaders’ LPI scores and self-awareness, the direction and strength of how the direct reports’ rated their leaders’ LPI practices and the leaders’ self-awareness; it also measured if there were significant differences in how the leaders rated themselves based on gender, education and time in a leadership position.

The results indicated a positive, but not strong relationship between leaders’ own LPI scores and self-awareness. The relationship of the direct reports’ observation of leaders and their self-awareness appeared positive and strong for each of the five competencies.

The correlation of the five LPI-SELF competencies and self-awareness to gender did not appear significantly different. Results appeared different in four of the five leadership practices based on education. Only Challenging the Process was similar for all educational levels. Whereas, years as a leader appear similar in four of the five leadership practices, and only Modeling the Way showed different results.