Differences in Self-monitoring between Effective and Ineffective Leaders in the Public Sector: A South African Study

By Martina Kotzé and Ian Venter.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Self-monitoring refers to the degree to which individuals monitor (observe and control) expressive behaviour and self-presentation. Self-monitoring as construct encompasses the individual's concern with the appropriateness of self-presentation and the ability to modify self-presentation in particular situations. Self-monitoring has been associated with leadership effectiveness, but inconsistent results have emerged. Some researchers advocate self-monitoring as important in the domain of leadership, whilst others found no relationship between self-monitoring and leadership effectiveness. Some researchers even argue that high self-monitoring stands in the way of moral and authentic leadership.The aim of this study was to determine whether there are significant statistical differences between effective and ineffective leaders with regard to their scores on self-monitoring. The sample included 114 leaders at middle management level in a public sector institution in South Africa. Each leader’s effectiveness was rated by themselves (self-rating), as well as by four subordinates, thus involving 570 participants. Snyder’s Self Monitoring Scale and Spannenberg and Theron’s Leadership Effectiveness Inventory were used in order to measure self-monitoring behaviour and leadership effectiveness respectively. Analysis of variance indicated that effective and ineffective leaders did not differ in terms of their self-monitoring disposition.

Keywords: Impression Management, Self-presentation, Self-monitoring, Leadership, Leadership Effectiveness

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 691.082KB).

Prof. Martina Kotzé

Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

I am an Industrial Psychologist, teaching Organisation Behaviour at the School of Management, as well as in the Department of Industrial Psychology. I also have a part time practice, where my focus is mainly on organisation development interventions and psychometric assessment for selection and development purposes. I enjoy the outdoor life, reading and spending time with good friends and family.

Ian Venter

Post-graduate student, Industrial Psychology, University of the Free State, Free State, South Africa


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