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Self-regulation, Feedback and Leadership Skills

Shawn Noble
Boston, MA

Below you will find an abstract of my dissertation, which I successfully defended this past October:

Teaching managers how to think is one of the most important determinants of developing leaders who are versatile, adaptive, and flexible. This notion of "how to think" is defined by the Army as a conceptual skill.

Previous research by Noble and Fallesen (2000) has shown that conceptual skills can be divided into three categories: simulation, synthesis and self-regulation. Specific focus was taken in two studies to gain a better understanding of self-regulation thinking skills.

In Study 1, 150 undergraduate students were studied to explore a model that considered the relationship between variables that are thought to be related to a self-regulatory process. The variables included locus of control, self-efficacy, and goal-setting habits. In addition, the model considered how well self-efficacy for improving leadership and goal-setting habits predict academic achievement goals and behavioral intent. Results from Study 1 showed mixed support for the model.

Study 2 used 277 military officers to expand the model from Study 1 to explore the relationship between self-insight and self-regulation. The Study 2 model was designed to address: 1) How feedback influences leadership goals and attitudes of leadership assessment; 2) The relationship between locus of control, perceived feedback consistency, self-efficacy, goal-setting habits, system reactions, and perceived constraints; 3) The relationship between behavioral intent and self-efficacy, goal-setting habits, system reactions, and perceived constraints.

Support was not found for the original model; however, based on the findings in Study 1 and Study 2, an alternative descriptive model was proposed that draws upon a different association between each of the variables and supports the idea that individual difference variables play an important role in the self-regulatory process.

The research provided insights on the AZIMUTH multi-rater feedback process utilized by the U.S. Army to develop officer leadership. Results showed that locus of control and self-peer rating agreement play a key role in determining how feedback is interpreted. In addition, the research conducted here led to the development of several scales that can be used for future exploration of locus of control and self-efficacy.

Contact Shawn Noble

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