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Revista de Psicologa Social

International Journal of Social Psychology

ISSN: 0213-4748 (Print) 1579-3680 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rrps20

Evaluating positive leadership: pilot study on the


psychometric properties of a reduced version
of the Positive Leadership Assessment Scale /
Evaluando el liderazgo positivo: estudio piloto
de las propiedades psicomtricas de una versin
reducida del Positive Leadership Assessment Scale
Mirko Antino, Francisco Gil-Rodrguez, Alfredo Rodrguez-Muoz & Stefano
Borzillo
To cite this article: Mirko Antino, Francisco Gil-Rodrguez, Alfredo Rodrguez-Muoz &
Stefano Borzillo (2014) Evaluating positive leadership: pilot study on the psychometric
properties of a reduced version of the Positive Leadership Assessment Scale / Evaluando el
liderazgo positivo: estudio piloto de las propiedades psicomtricas de una versin reducida
del Positive Leadership Assessment Scale, Revista de Psicologa Social, 29:3, 589-608, DOI:
10.1080/02134748.2014.972705
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02134748.2014.972705

Published online: 11 Nov 2014.

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Date: 23 November 2015, At: 20:01

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Revista de Psicologa Social / International Journal of Social Psychology, 2014


Vol. 29, No. 3, 589608, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02134748.2014.972705

Evaluating positive leadership: pilot study on the psychometric


properties of a reduced version of the Positive Leadership
Assessment Scale / Evaluando el liderazgo positivo: estudio piloto
de las propiedades psicomtricas de una versin reducida del
Positive Leadership Assessment Scale
Mirko Antinoa, Francisco Gil-Rodrgueza, Alfredo Rodrguez-Muoza
and Stefano Borzillob
a

Universidad Complutense de Madrid; bSKEMA Business School


(Received 23 November 2012; accepted 11 June 2013)

Abstract: Positive leadership is considered a fundamental factor which contributes significantly to the development of healthy organizations. Positive leadership has been address via other leadership models, primarily transformational and
authentic leadership, with which some affinities have been established. Although
there is a large body of literature on positive leadership, especially related to its
practical aspects, the construct is not properly delimited and there are only a few
relevant contributions on how to measure it. The purpose of this paper is to
conduct a pilot study to examine the psychometric properties of a reduced version
of the PLAS (Positive Leadership Assessment Scale). Results from a confirmatory factorial analysis show that a five-correlated factors model achieves a good
fit with the empirical data (on a sample of Spanish students). Likewise, this study
also offers a range of evidence of validity, showing a relationship with the
constructs of both transformational and authentic leadership and engagement.
Keywords: engagement;
transformational leadership

authentic

leadership;

positive

leadership;

Resumen: El liderazgo positivo se considera un factor fundamental que


contribuye de forma notoria al desarrollo de organizaciones saludables. El
liderazgo positivo se ha abordado a partir de otros modelos de liderazgo,
fundamentalmente el transformacional y autntico con los que se ha establecido algn tipo de afinidad. Aunque existe una importante literatura sobre el
liderazgo positivo, especialmente relacionada con aspectos prcticos, el constructo no est adecuadamente delimitado y apenas existen investigaciones
relevantes sobre su evaluacin. El objetivo del presente trabajo es realizar
un estudio piloto que examine las propiedades psicomtricas de una versin
reducida del Positive Leadership Assestment Scale. Los resultados del anlisis
English version: pp. 589596 / Versin en espaol: pp. 597603
References / Referencias: pp. 603604
Translated from Spanish / Traduccin del espaol: Mary Black
Authors Address / Correspondencia con los autores: Mirko Antino, Facultad de Psicologa,
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Campus de Somosaguas, Despacho 2104.D, 28223
Madrid, Espaa. E-mail: m.antino@psi.ucm.es
2014 Fundacion Infancia y Aprendizaje

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factorial confirmatorio en una muestra de estudiantes espaoles muestran que


el modelo de cinco factores correlacionados logra un buen ajuste a los datos
empricos. As mismo, se obtuvieron distintas evidencias de validez, encontrando relacin con los constructos tanto de liderazgo transformacional y
autntico, como engagement.

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Palabras clave: engagement; liderazgo autntico; liderazgo positivo; liderazgo


transformacional

Today the working world and organizations are enmeshed in a process of profound change, with significant implications for the health of both these organizations and their members. This situation is fostering the development of new
organizational approaches that are focused on restoring trust, hope and optimism
within organizations (Avolio & Gadner, 2005).
In parallel, the positive psychology approach has emerged in recent years,
focused on developing positive qualities as opposed to dealing with negative
aspects, like flaws and pathologies (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). The
emphasis on positive organizational behaviour and positive psychological capital
fits within this new approach (Luthans, 2002; Luthans, Avolio, Avey, & Norman,
2007). The study of positive leadership also falls within these lines (Cameron,
2008); positive leadership focuses its actions on what is good and on encouraging
human potentialities, motivations and capacities.
Therefore, positive leadership refers to the way leaders encourage outstanding
performance by centring on virtue and eudemonism, which justifies what a person
does if their goal is to attain happiness (Cameron, 2008). The concept of positive
leadership is based on the conception of the positively biased leader and the idea
of a continuum ranging from extreme positive to extreme negative, such that all
leaders can be plotted at some point along it. Positive leaders are ones whose
behaviour shows a bias towards the positive end (Wooten & Cameron, 2010).
This kind of leadership has three characteristics: (1) it facilitates extraordinarily positive performance (above-average performance); (2) it focuses on peoples
strengths and abilities; and (3) it facilitates the best of the human condition, that is,
it fosters virtuousness (Cameron, 2008).
There is empirical evidence regarding the benefits of this construct. Working
teams with a positive leader show better results on workplace wellbeing, positive
emotions (Kelloway, Weigand, McKee, & Das, 2013), engagement, performance,
cohesion, team learning orientation and innovation (Cameron, 2008).
Considering todays conditions, research and theory are expected to suggest ways
to accelerate the development of positive leadership within the next 10 years (Avolio,
Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). However, despite the interest in this kind of leadership,
there are very few studies that define or measure it (Kelloway et al., 2013). The
literature states that positive leadership is related to other models of leadership, such
as transformational leadership (Bass, 1985) and authentic leadership (Avolio &
Gardner, 2005). Even though these last two models of leadership have substantial
support in the literature, the first instrument to measure positive leadership, the
Positive Leadership Assessment Scale (Cameron, 2008), has hardly any validation

Assessing positive leadership / Evaluando el liderazgo positivo

591

studies. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to conduct a pilot study that examines the
psychometric properties of the reduced version of this instrument in Spanish, analysing its factorial structure, its internal consistency and its validity in a student population. We believe that the sample is suitable for a pilot study on leadership, just as other
models of leadership, such as transformational leadership, have been applied in the
field of education and training (see Pounder, 2008).

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Positive leadership assessment scale


The positive leadership scale includes the following five dimensions:
(1) Positive climate (six items in the original scale) refers to the condition in
which positive emotions predominate over negative emotions in a workplace (Cameron, 2008, p. 17). The leader contributes to developing this
climate by modelling and encouraging acts of compassion, collective
forgiveness and expressions of gratitude among the organizations
employees.
(2) Positive relationships (five items) refers to relationships that are a source
of richness, vitality and learning (Cameron, 2008, p. 35), such that they
work to others benefit (instead of being limited to just receiving support
from others).
(3) Positive communication (five items) takes place in organizations when
the language of affirmation and support replaces negative, critical language (Cameron, 2008, p. 51). To achieve this, the leader has to use
support strategies and provide feedback focusing on strengths and unique
contributions, that is, focusing on the positive instead of punishing what is
done improperly.
(4) Creating positive meaning (four items) consists of getting people to feel
like they are pursuing a profound purpose or showing a connection with
the job that is important to them and leads to meaningful positive effects.
To develop it, leaders stress the value of the organizations results, which
is more than just the personal benefit of the employees themselves.
(5) Positive strategies (four items) consists of using the Personnel
Management Interview Program, which provides a powerful way to institutionalize the four positive strategies and is based on specific, planned
interactions conducted systematically between the leader and their followers (Cameron, 2008, pp. 8182).

Method
Participants
The sample is made up of 423 students (convenience sample with voluntary
participation) working towards their Bachelors degree in the Faculty of

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Psychology at a public university in Madrid. Their average age is 21.99 (SD =


3.95) and 70% are female.

Instruments
PLAS (Positive Leadership Assessment Scale)
The scale was translated by two experts in organizational psychology, and the
instrument was then back-translated into English by a third expert to check the
equivalency between both versions. The items were chosen by consensus
among the experts and by analysing the factorial loads in a prior exploratory
analysis performed on another sample. These items were adapted to the
context in which they were administered by replacing the word employees
with students. For each of the five dimensions, three items from the original
scale were chosen (see Appendix), and the response scale ranged from 1
(never) to 5 (almost always).

Engagement
Engagement was measured using nine items from the scale developed by
Schaufeli, Bakker, and Salanova (2006), with a response range from 0 (never)
to 6 (every day). The content of the items, which were originally designed for
workplaces, was adapted to the educational setting.

Transformational leadership
Transformational leadership was measured using the 27 items from the
Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X-R; Bass & Avolio, 1990;
Spanish adaptation by Morales & Molero, 1995). The responses ranged from 1
(never) to 5 (almost always), and the content of the items was also adapted to the
educational setting.

Authentic leadership
Authentic leadership was measured using the 16 items of the Authentic
Leadership Questionnaire (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gadner, Wernsing, & Peterson,
2008; Spanish adaptation by Moriano, Molero, & Lvy-Mangin, 2011). The
responses ranged from 1 (never) to 5 (almost always).

Procedure
The sample was assembled in different classes in the Bachelors degree in
psychology during the second semester of the academic year. All the students
were asked to evaluate the professor in the class from the past term in which
they had earned the highest mark. Should the students have earned the same

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high mark in several different classes, they were to refer to the most recent.
The responses to the questionnaires were anonymous.

Analysis of the data


The psychometric analyses performed include: (a) internal consistency test; (b)
study of the correlations between factors; (c) estimate of the reliability of the
complete scale and of its five dimensions; (d) confirmatory factorial analysis
comparing a model with a single factor and one with five correlated factors;
and (e) an analysis of the relationships with other constructs in order to get
evidence of validity.
The reliability of each subscale as a whole was estimated using Cronbachs
alpha index, while the correlation matrix was used to study the correlation
between factors (b) and the relationship among variables (e). The confirmatory
factorial analysis was performed using version 6.12 of the Mplus software
(Muthen & Muthen, 2010). Given the nature of the data (items with five
response categories and the absence of multivariate normality), a robust
extraction method was used for these situations (Finney & DiStefano, 2006).
The indicators used to evaluate the goodness of fit of the model being
examined include: (a) the chi-squared coefficient/degrees of freedom (2/df);
(b) the comparative fit index (CFI); (c) the TuckerLewis Index (TLI); (d) the
root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA); and (e) the standardized
SRMR. The following criteria were used to evaluate the goodness of fit: the
TLI and CFI values have to be higher than .90 (Hu & Bentler, 1999); the
RMSEA index had to score under .08 (Browne & Cudeck, 1992); and the
relationship between 2/df had to be lower than 3.

Results
Descriptive analyses of the scales, and study of the relationships among factors
and their internal consistency
Table 1 shows the means and standard deviations of the constructs measured. The
internal consistency of the complete positive leadership scale as a whole was
outstanding (Alpha = .92), while the values were acceptable on the dimensions
analysed separately, ranging from .68 to .75.
The correlation analysis between scales (Table 1) shows that all the dimensions were positively related (p < .01). The higher degree of correlation came
between the positive climate and positive relationships dimensions (r = .727).

Confirmatory factorial analysis


The results of the confirmatory factorial analysis (Table 2) of the single factor
model showed an unsuitable adjustment to the data (2/df = 3.944, TLI = .87,
CFI = .89, RMSEA = .087, SRMR = .054). On the other hand, the 5-factor

LP_Positive climate
LP_Positive relationships
LP_Positive communication
LP_Creation of positive meaning
LP_Positive strategies
LP_Complete scale
Authentic leadership
Engagement
Transformational leadership

**p < .01; *p < .05.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Scales
2.99
3.00
3.26
3.57
2.69
3.10
4.53
5.21
3.51

M
1.02
0.91
0.94
0.84
0.96
0.78
1.06
1.23
0.69

SD
.75
.69
.68
.75
.69
.92
.92
.85
.83

Alpha

.727** 1
.677** .721** 1
.556** .615** .633** 1
.584** .673** .558** .507** 1
.855** .893** .857** .779** .798** 1
.494** .548** .540** .562** .514** .633** 1
.100*
.109*
.104*
.185** .135** .150** .270** 1
.618** .673** .652** .709** .564** .765** .677** .212** 1

Table 1. Descriptive statistics, reliability indexes and correlations between the scales.

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Table 2. Confirmatory factorial analysis for the reduced Spanish version of the PLAS.
Model

Chi-squared

df

chi/df

TLI

CFI

RMSEA

SMRS

1 factor
5 correlated factors

354.935
224.878

90
80

3.944
2.811

.87
.93

.89
.95

.087
.068

.054
.045

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correlated solution showed the models optimal adjustment to the data (2/
df = 2.811, TLI = .93, CFI = .95, RMSEA = .068, SRMR = .045).
Evidence of validity based on the relationship between theoretically related
constructs and the prediction of external variables
Relationship between positive leadership and transformational leadership
As shown in Table 1, the positive leadership construct (complete scale) was
positively related to the transformational leadership construct (r = .765;
p < .01). Likewise, there is a positive relationship between this kind of leadership
and all the sub-scales, especially with the creation of positive meaning (r = .709;
p < .01) and positive relationships (r = .673; p < .01).
Relationship between positive leadership and authentic leadership
Similarly (Table 1), the positive leadership construct is positively related to the
authentic leadership construct (r = .633; p < .01), and a positive relationship was
found between this kind of leadership and all the sub-scales, the strongest being
with the creation of positive meaning (r = .562; p < .01).
Predictive relationship between positive leadership and engagement
As shown in Table 1, the positive leadership construct allows us to predict
participants engagement (r = .15; p < .01), and each of the dimensions studied
is positively related to engagement, the strongest being with the creation of
positive meaning (r = .185; p < .01).
Discussion
The prime objective of this paper was to conduct a pilot study of the psychometric
characteristics of a reduced version PLAS translated into Spanish. The results can
be considered satisfactory in general. The internal reliability of the instrument as a
whole was suitable, while the reliability of the scales tested separately was
acceptable. This result was understandable if we bear in mind the functioning of
the Alpha index, which is sensitive to the number of items present in each
dimension (only three in our case). Therefore, the different dimensions can be
used separately, or each dimension can be expanded if reliability higher than .90 is
needed. The confirmatory factorial analysis showed the superiority of the

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five-correlated factors solution over the single-factor solution, as the former


showed a very good fit between the model and the data. Considering the evidence
of validity found in this pilot study, the results entail one of the first contributions
to the literature on transformational leadership (Bass, 1985), as they offer preliminary empirical evidence of its relationship with positive leadership. With a
similar result pattern, a positive relationship was also found between positive
leadership and authentic leadership. This means conferring positive meaning and
fostering a climate, relationships and communication based on supportive messages that can help the followers to perceive the leaders behaviours as more
ethical and honest. Likewise, we also noted a positive relationship between the
positive leadership and engagement dimensions. This aligns with previous studies
which found that transformational leadership in supervisors was positively related
to employees daily engagement (Tims, Bakker, & Xanthopoulou, 2011). In this
sense, our preliminary results indicate that the patterns of positive leaders may
foster an increase in personal resources among employees, such as better selfefficacy stemming from positive feedback.
As a whole, these results entail a first step in validating the PLAS. The
preliminary results of this study show that it is a valid, reliable measurement
that takes into account a wide range of positive experiences that leaders can better
develop in order to improve different aspects of their organizational environment.
Given that in Spain there is no information on the psychometric properties of this
instrument, we view its validation as extraordinarily important as a step prior to
developing this perspective. In addition to the positive aspects that can stem from
this pilot study, the study has a series of limitations with regard to research and
applications that should be borne in mind in future research. First of all, the results
are preliminary owing to the sample with which the study was performed.
Applications must be made to other organizational contexts with the goal of
getting results that can be extrapolated to more settings. Secondly, trying to
predict students engagement based on the positive leadership of one of their
past professors limits the degree to which the results can be extrapolated to other
settings, since the professor evaluated by the students was not the only professor
they had during their degree programmes, while the engagement measured
referred to the university as an organization. Thirdly, the two variables were
measured at the same time, so this does not avoid problems related to shared
variance. Future studies should replicate this study using longitudinal designs.

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Evaluando el liderazgo positivo: estudio piloto de las propiedades


psicomtricas de una versin reducida del Positive Leadership
Assessment Scale
Actualmente el mundo laboral y las organizaciones se encuentran en un proceso
de profundos cambios, con importantes implicaciones para la salud de las organizaciones y de sus miembros. Esta situacin est favoreciendo el desarrollo de
nuevos enfoques organizacionales, centrados en restaurar la confianza, esperanza
y optimismo dentro de las organizaciones (Avolio y Gadner, 2005).
Paralelamente, en los ltimos aos ha surgido el enfoque de la psicologa positiva,
centrado en el desarrollo de las cualidades positivas, frente a la preocupacin en tratar
aspectos negativos, como deficiencias y patologas (Seligman y Csikszentmihalyi,
2000). Dentro de este nuevo enfoque se encuadra el nfasis en la conducta organizacional positiva y en el capital psicolgico positivo (Luthans, 2002; Luthans, Avolio,
Avey, y Norman, 2007). En esta lnea, se sita igualmente el estudio del liderazgo
positivo (Cameron, 2008), el cual centra su actuacin en lo que est bien, en el fomento
de las potencialidades humanas, sus motivaciones y capacidades.
Por lo tanto, el liderazgo positivo se entiende como la forma en que los lderes
facilitan un rendimiento excelente, centrndose en la virtud y el eudemonismo que
justifica lo que una persona hace si su objetivo es alcanzar la felicidad (Cameron,
2008). El concepto de liderazgo positivo, parte de la concepcin del lder positivamente desviado y se basa en la idea de un continuo, que va desde un extremo positivo a
uno negativo, de forma que todos los lderes pueden ser ubicados en algn punto del
mismo, siendo los lderes positivos aquellos cuyo comportamiento muestra una
desviacin cercana al polo positivo (Wooten y Cameron, 2010).
Este liderazgo presenta tres caractersticas: (1) facilitar un rendimiento extraordinariamente positivo (rendimiento por encima de la media); (2) centrarse en las
fortalezas y capacidades de las personas; y (3) facilitar lo mejor de la condicin
humana, o en el fomento de la virtuosidad (Cameron, 2008).
Existe evidencia emprica respecto a los beneficios de este constructo. En
aquellos equipos de trabajo en los que interviene un lder positivo, se obtienen
mejores resultados en bienestar en el trabajo, emociones positivas (Kelloway,
Weigand, McKee y Das, 2013), engagement, rendimiento, cohesin, orientacin
al aprendizaje de equipo e innovacin (Cameron, 2008).
Considerando las condiciones actuales, se espera que en los prximos 10 aos,
la investigacin y la teora se planteen formas de acelerar el desarrollo del
liderazgo positivo (Avolio, Walumbwa, y Weber, 2009). No obstante, pese al
inters por este tipo de liderazgo, existen muy pocas investigaciones sobre su
definicin o medicin (Kelloway et al., 2013). La literatura afirma que el

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liderazgo positivo est relacionado con otros modelos de liderazgo, como el


transformacional (Bass, 1985) y el autntico (Avolio y Gardner, 2005). Si bien
estos ltimos modelos de liderazgo poseen un importante apoyo en la literatura, el
primer instrumento de medida del liderazgo positivo, el Positive Leadership
Assessment Scale (Cameron, 2008), apenas cuenta con estudios de validacin.
Por ello, el objetivo de este trabajo es realizar un estudio piloto que examine las
propiedades psicomtricas de la versin reducida de dicho instrumento en castellano, analizando su estructura factorial, su consistencia interna y su validez en
una poblacin estudiante. Consideramos la muestra adecuada para un estudio
piloto sobre liderazgo, tal como se ha realizado aplicando otros modelos de
liderazgo en el mbito educativo y de la formacin, como el transformacional
(vase por ej. Pounder, 2008).

Positive leadership assessment scale


La escala de liderazgo positivo incluye las siguientes cinco dimensiones:
(1) El clima positivo (seis tems en la escala original) se refiere a la condicin
en la que las emociones positivas predominan sobre las negativas en un
ambiente de trabajo (Cameron, 2008, p. 17). El lder contribuye al
desarrollo de este clima a travs del modelado y fomentando actos de
compasin, perdn colectivo y expresiones de gratitud entre los empleados de la organizacin.
(2) Las relaciones positivas (cinco tems) se refieren a aquellas que son
fuente de riqueza, vitalidad y aprendizaje (Cameron, 2008, p. 35), de
forma que contribuyen al beneficio de los dems (en lugar de limitarse a
recibir apoyo de ellos).
(3) La comunicacin positiva (cinco tems) tiene lugar en las organizaciones
cuando el lenguaje afirmativo y de apoyo remplaza al negativo y crtico
(Cameron, 2008, p. 51). Para conseguirlo, el lder debe emplear estrategias
de apoyo y dar retroalimentacin centrada en las fortalezas y en las
contribuciones nicas. Centrarse en fomentar lo positivo, en lugar de
castigar aquello que se realiza incorrectamente.
(4) Crear un sentido positivo (cuatro tems) consiste en conseguir que las
personas sientan que persiguen un propsito profundo o muestran
conexin con un trabajo que es importante para ellos y produce efectos
positivos significativos. Para desarrollarlo los lderes destacan el valor
asociado con los resultados de la organizacin, que se extienden ms
all del beneficio personal de los propios empleados.
(5) Estrategias positivas (cuatro tems) consiste en el empleo del Personnel
Management Interview Program que provee una forma potente de institucionalizar las cuatro estrategias positivas y se basa en interacciones
especficas, planificadas y conducidas de forma sistemtica entre el lder
y sus seguidores (Cameron, 2008, pp. 8182).

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Mtodo
Participantes
La muestra est compuesta por 423 estudiantes (muestreo de conveniencia y
participacin voluntaria) de grado de la facultad de Psicologa de una universidad
pblica de Madrid, edad media de 21.99 (SD = 3.95), 70% mujeres.
Instrumentos
PLAS (Positive Leadership Assestment Scale)
Se realiz la traduccin de la escala por parte de dos expertos en psicologa de las
organizaciones y el instrumento fue traducido de nuevo al ingls por un tercer
experto, comprobando la equivalencia entre ambas versiones. La seleccin de los
tems se hizo por consenso entre expertos y analizando las cargas factoriales en un
anlisis exploratorio previo efectuado sobre otra muestra. Estos tems se adaptaron
al contexto de aplicacin, sustituyendo la palabra empleados por alumnos. Para
cada una de las cinco dimensiones, se seleccionaron tres tems de la escala
original (vase Apndice) con escala de respuesta con formato de 1 (nunca) a 5
(casi siempre).
Engagement
El engagement se midi empleando los nueve tems de la escala desarrollada por
Schaufeli, Bakker, y Salanova (2006), con respuesta 0 (nunca) a 6 (todos los das).
El contenido de los tems, originalmente diseados para ambiente de trabajo, se
adapt al contexto de formacin.
Liderazgo transformacional
El liderazgo transformacional se midi empleando los 27 tems del Multifactor
Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X-R; Bass y Avolio, 1990; adaptacin espaola
de Morales y Molero (1995), con respuesta 1 (nunca) a 5 (casi siempre).
Igualmente el contenido de algunos tems se adaptaron al contexto de formacin.
Liderazgo autntico
El liderazgo autntico se midi empleando los 16 tems del Authentic Leadership
Questionnaire (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gadner, Wernsing, y Peterson, 2008;
adaptacin espaola de Moriano, Molero, y Lvy-Mangin, 2011), con respuesta
1 (nunca) a 5 (casi siempre).
Procedimiento
La muestra se recogi en distintas clases del grado en psicologa en el segundo
semestre. A todos los estudiantes se les pidi que evaluaran al profesor del
cuatrimestre pasado en cuya asignatura hubiesen obtenido mejor nota. En el

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caso de que hubiese ms asignaturas con la misma nota, deban referirse a la


ltima. La contestacin al cuestionario era annima.
Anlisis de los datos
Los anlisis psicomtricos efectuados incluyen: (a) Test de consistencia interna; (b)
estudio de las correlaciones entre factores; (c) estimacin de la fiabilidad de la escala
completa y de sus cinco dimensiones; (d) anlisis factorial confirmatorio comparando
un modelo con un factor nico y uno con cinco factores correlacionados; y (e) anlisis
de las relaciones con otros constructos para obtener evidencias de validez.
La fiabilidad de cada sub-escala y de la escala en su conjunto se estim
empleando el ndice Alpha de Cronbach, mientras que la matriz de correlaciones
se emple para estudiar la correlacin entre factores (b) y la relacin entre
variables (e). El anlisis factorial confirmatorio se llev a cabo con el software
Mplus versin 6.12 (Muthen y Muthen, 2010). Dada la naturaleza de los datos
(tems con cinco categoras de respuesta y ausencia de normalidad multivariante)
se emple un mtodo de extraccin robusto en estas situaciones (Finney y
DiStefano, 2006). Los indicadores empleados para evaluar la bondad de ajuste
del modelo examinado incluyen: (a) el cociente chi-cuadrado/grados de libertad
(2/df); (b) el comparative fit index (CFI); (c) el TuckerLewis Index (TLI); (d) el
root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA); y (e) el standardized SRMR.
Los criterios empleados para evaluar la bondad de ajuste fueron los siguientes: los
valores de TLI y CFI deberan ser mayores que .90 (Hu y Bentler, 1999); el ndice
RMSEA debera puntuar por debajo de .08 (Browne y Cudeck, 1992); y la
relacin entre 2/df debera ser inferior a 3.
Resultados
Anlisis descriptivos de las escalas, estudio de las relaciones entre factores y de
su consistencia interna
En la Tabla 1 se presentan las medias y las desviaciones tpicas de los constructos
medidos. La consistencia interna de la escala de liderazgo positivo completa en su
conjunto fue excelente (Alpha = .92), mientras que en las dimensiones analizadas
por separado los valores fueron aceptables, variando de .68 a .75.
El anlisis de correlacin entre escalas (Tabla 1), muestra que todas las dimensiones estaban relacionadas positivamente (p < .01). El mayor grado de correlacin
se obtuvo entre las dimensiones de clima positivo y relaciones positivas (r = .727).
Anlisis factorial confirmatorio
Los resultados del anlisis factorial confirmatorio (Tabla 2) del modelo de
factor nico, mostraron un ajuste inadecuado a los datos 2/df = 3.944,
TLI = .87, CFI = .89, RMSEA = .087, SRMR = .054). Por otra parte, la
solucin de cinco factores correlacionados indic un ajuste ptimo del modelo a
los datos (2/df = 2.811, TLI = .93, CFI = .95, RMSEA = .068, SRMR = .045).

LP_Clima positive
LP_Relaciones positivas
LP_Comunicaciones positivas
LP_Creacin sentido positivo
LP_Estrategias positivas
LP_Escala completa
Liderazgo Autentico
Engagement
Liderazgo Transformacional

Escalas

2.99
3.00
3.26
3.57
2.69
3.10
4.53
5.21
3.51

M
1.02
0.91
0.94
0.84
0.96
0.78
1.06
1.23
0.69

SD
.75
.69
.68
.75
.69
.92
.92
.85
.83

Alpha
1
.727**
.677**
.556**
.584**
.855**
.494**
.100*
.618**

1
1
.721**
.615**
.673**
.893**
.548**
.109*
.673**

1
.633**
.558**
.857**
.540**
.104*
.652**

Estadsticos descriptivos, ndices de fiabilidad y correlaciones entre las escalas.

**p < .01; *p < .05.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Tabla 1.

.507**
.779**
.562**
.185**
.709**

1
.798**
.514**
.135**
.564**

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.633**
.150**
.765**

1
.270**
.677**

1
.212**

Assessing positive leadership / Evaluando el liderazgo positivo


601

602

M. Antino et al.

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Tabla 2.

Anlisis factorial confirmatorio para la versin espaola reducida del PLAS.

Modelo

Chi cuadrado

df

chi/df

TLI

CFI

RMSEA

SMRS

1 factor
5 factores correlacionados

354.935
224.878

90
80

3.944
2.811

.87
.93

.89
.95

.087
.068

.054
.045

Evidencias de validez basadas en la relacin con constructos tericamente


relacionados y en la prediccin de variables externas
Relacin de liderazgo positivo con el liderazgo transformacional
Como se muestra en la Tabla 1, el constructo de liderazgo positivo (escala
completa), se relacion positivamente con el constructo de liderazgo transformacional (r = .765; p < .01). As mismo, se obtiene una relacin positiva entre dicho
liderazgo y todas las sub-escalas, especialmente con creacin de sentido positivo
(r = .709; p < .01) y con relaciones positivas (r = .673; p < .01).
Relacin de liderazgo positivo con el liderazgo autntico
De forma similar (Tabla 1), el constructo de liderazgo positivo se relacion
positivamente con el constructo de liderazgo autntico (r = .633; p < .01) y se
obtuvo una relacin positiva entre dicho liderazgo y todas las sub-escalas, siendo
la relacin mayor con la creacin de sentido positivo (r = .562; p < .01).
Relacin predictiva del liderazgo positivo con engagement
Como se muestra en la Tabla 1, el constructo de liderazgo positivo permite
predecir el engagement de los participantes (r = .15; p < .01) y cada una de las
dimensiones estudiadas est relacionada positivamente con el engagement, siendo
la creacin de sentido positivo la que presenta mayor relacin (r = .185; p < .01).
Discusin
El primer objetivo de este trabajo era realizar un estudio piloto de las caractersticas
psicomtricas del PLAS en una versin reducida y traducida al castellano. Los
resultados obtenidos pueden considerarse, en lneas generales, satisfactorios. La
fiabilidad interna del instrumento en su conjunto result ser adecuada, mientras que
la fiabilidad de las escalas por separado fue aceptable. Este resultado es comprensible
si se tiene en cuenta el funcionamiento del ndice Alpha, sensible al nmero de tems
presentes en cada dimensin (solamente tres en nuestro caso). Por tanto, se pueden
emplear las distintas dimensiones por separado, o en caso de requerir fiabilidades
superiores a .90 resulta recomendable ampliar cada dimensin. El anlisis factorial
confirmatorio mostr la superioridad de la solucin con cinco factores correlacionados respeto a la de un factor nico, mostrando aquella un ajuste muy bueno del
modelo a los datos. Considerando las evidencias de validez obtenidas en este estudio

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Assessing positive leadership / Evaluando el liderazgo positivo

603

piloto, los resultados suponen una de las primeras contribuciones a la literatura de


liderazgo transformacional (Bass, 1985) al ofrecer evidencia emprica preliminar de
su relacin con un estilo de liderazgo positivo. Con un patrn de resultados similares,
se obtiene una relacin positiva entre el liderazgo positivo y liderazgo autntico. Esto
supone que dar sentido positivo y fomentar un clima, relaciones y comunicaciones
basadas en mensajes de apoyo puede facilitar que los seguidores perciban las conductas de los lderes como ms ticas y honestas. Del mismo modo, se ha observado
una relacin positiva entre las dimensiones del liderazgo positivo y engagement. Esto
concuerda con las investigaciones previas donde se encontr que el liderazgo transformacional de los supervisores se relacionaba positivamente con el engagement
diario de los empleados (Tims, Bakker, y Xanthopoulou, 2011). En este sentido,
nuestros resultados preliminares indicaran que las pautas de los lderes positivos
pueden repercutir positivamente en el incremento de recursos personales entre los
empleados, como mejor autoeficacia debido al feedback positivo.
En conjunto, estos resultados suponen un primer paso en la validacin del
PLAS. Los resultados preliminares del presente estudio muestran que se trata de
una medida vlida y fiable que tiene en cuenta un rango amplio de experiencias
positivas, que los lderes pueden desarrollar para mejorar distintos aspectos de su
entorno organizacional. Puesto que en Espaa no existen datos sobre las propiedades psicomtricas de este instrumento, su validacin, como paso previo al
desarrollo de esta perspectiva, nos parece de vital importancia. Adems de los
aspectos positivos que pueden derivarse de este estudio piloto, en cuanto a
investigacin y aplicaciones, el estudio presenta una serie de limitaciones que
deben tenerse en cuenta en futuras investigaciones. En primer lugar, los resultados
tienen un carcter preliminar, debido a la muestra con la que se realiz el estudio.
Se deben realizar aplicaciones a otros contextos organizacionales, con el objeto de
generalizar los resultados. En segundo lugar, al intentar predecir el engagement de
los estudiantes a partir del liderazgo positivo ejercido por algn profesor en el
pasado, limita la generalizacin de los resultados, ya que el profesor evaluado por
los alumnos no era el nico profesor que han tenido en su carrera, mientras que el
engagement medido se refera a la universidad como organizacin. En tercer
lugar, las dos variables se midieron al mismo tiempo, con lo cual no se evitan
problemas relacionados con la varianza comn. Futuras investigaciones deberan
replicar este estudio mediante diseos longitudinales.

Acknowledgements / Agradecimientos
This study was partly conducted with funds from research project PI10/01272 financed by
the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. / Esta investigacin se realiz en parte con fondos del
proyecto de investigacin PI10/01272 financiado por el instituto de Salud Carlos III.

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Positive communication

Positive relationships

Positive climate

Dimension

Original Items

Suele hacer comentarios de agradecimiento


de forma habitual.
Se asegura que los (empleados) alumnos
tengan la oportunidad de proporcionar
apoyo emocional, intelectual o fsico a
otros, adems de recibir apoyo de ellos.
Tiene claras las redes existentes y las emplea
para apoyar a quien lo necesite.

Fomenta el intercambio de informacin para


que los (empleados) alumnos tomen
conciencia de las dificultades de sus
compaeros y, por tanto, pueda ayudarles.
Fomenta la expresin pblica de la empata
para comunicar apoyo emocional.

Spanish version Item

Proporciona a la gente ms informacin


sobre sus fortalezas que sobre sus
debilidades.
En sus interacciones diarias, proporciona
Provide a ratio of approximately five
mayor nmero de mensajes positivos que
positive messages for every negative
message to those with whom you interact.
negativos.

Encourage the public expression of


compassion by sponsoring formal events
to communicate emotional support.
Make gratitude visits and gratitude notes a
daily practice.
Ensure that employees have an opportunity
to provide emotional, intellectual, or
physical support to others in addition to
receiving support from others.
Diagnose your organizations energy
networks, so that you support and utilize
individuals in energy hubs as well as to
help develop peripheral members.
Provide more feedback to individuals on
their strengths than on their weaknesses.

Foster information sharing so that people


become aware of colleagues difficulties
and, therefore, can express compassion.

Reduced Spanish version of the PLAS

Appendix

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(Continued )

Original item position

Assessing positive leadership / Evaluando el liderazgo positivo


605

Positive strategies

Creation of positive
meaning

Dimension

(Continued ).
Spanish version Item

Provide negative feedback in supportive


ways especially using descriptive
rather than evaluative statements so
that the relationship is strengthened
Establish, recognize, reward, and maintain
accountability for goals that contribute to
human benefit, so that the effects on other
people are obvious
Emphasize and reinforce the core values of
the individuals who work in the
organization, so that congruence between
what the organization accomplishes and
what people value is transparent
Meet at least monthly in one-on-one
meetings with your direct reports

Establece, reconoce y fomenta el


cumplimiento de los objetivos para
beneficiar a los (empleados) alumnos y
obtener efectos positivos.
Destaca y refuerza los valores fundamentales
de los (empleados en la empresa) alumnos
en la Universidad, de forma que haya
congruencia entre lo que realiza esta y los
valores de aquellos.
Mantiene regularmente reuniones
individuales con los (empleados) alumnos
o sus representantes (delegados,
coordinadores de grupos de prcticas,
etc.).

(Continued )

Original item position

Al dar retroalimentacin negativa se centra


en las consecuencias negativas de una
accin y no en la persona que la realiza.

Brinda oportunidades para que los


(empleados) alumnos reciban mejor autoretroalimentacin y desarrollen una mejor
autoimagen.
Consistently distribute notes or cards to your Realiza reconocimientos pblicos para
felicitar a sus (empleados) alumnos sobre
employees complimenting their
su rendimiento.
performance

Provide opportunities for employees to


receive best-self feedback and develop
best-self portraits.

Original Items

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Dimension

(Continued ).
Spanish version Item

Hace hincapi en la mejora continua y en el


Consistently and continually emphasize
desarrollo de fuertes relaciones
continuous improvement and the
interpersonales con los (empleados)
development of strong interpersonal
alumnos o sus representantes.
relationships among your direct reports.
Have a formalized routine (such as PMIs) in Sigue un procedimiento formalizado para
que los (empleados) alumnos puedan
which you can regularly demonstrate
contribuir a crear un clima positivo.
positive climate, positive relationships,
positive communication, and positive
meaning associated with the work

Original Items

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Original item position

Assessing positive leadership / Evaluando el liderazgo positivo


607

Apndice

Estrategias positivas

Creacin sentido
positivo

Comunicaciones
positivas

Relaciones positivas

Clima positivo

Dimensin

tems

Brinda oportunidades para que los alumnos reciban mejor auto-retroalimentacin y desarrollen una mejor
autoimagen.
Realiza reconocimientos pblicos para felicitar a sus alumnos sobre su rendimiento.
Al dar retroalimentacin negativa se centra en las consecuencias negativas de una accin y no en la persona que la
realiza.
Establece, reconoce y fomenta el cumplimiento de los objetivos para beneficiar a los alumnos y obtener efectos
positivos.
Destaca y refuerza los valores fundamentales de los alumnos en la Universidad, de forma que haya congruencia
entre lo que realiza sta y los valores de aquellos.
Mantiene regularmente reuniones individuales con los alumnos o sus representantes (delegados, coordinadores de
grupos de prcticas, etc.).
Hace hincapi en la mejora continua y en el desarrollo de fuertes relaciones interpersonales con los alumnos o sus
representantes.
Sigue un procedimiento formalizado para que los alumnos puedan contribuir a crear un clima positivo.

Fomenta el intercambio de informacin para que los alumnos tomen conciencia de las dificultades de sus
compaeros y, por tanto, pueda ayudarles.
Fomenta la expresin pblica de la empata para comunicar apoyo emocional.
Suele hacer comentarios de agradecimiento de forma habitual.
Se asegura que los alumnos tengan la oportunidad de proporcionar apoyo emocional, intelectual o fsico a otros,
adems de recibir apoyo de ellos.
Tiene claras las redes existentes y las emplea para apoyar a quien lo necesite.
Proporciona a la gente ms informacin sobre sus fortalezas que sobre sus debilidades.
En sus interacciones diarias, proporciona mayor nmero de mensajes positivos que negativos.

Versin castellana reducida del PLAS

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