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The utilization of the self-administrated questionnaire in leadership assessment is all-encompassing. This questionnaire gives an appraisal of the leader’s behavior. Bryman (2011) claim that “questionnaires data are subject to some limitations” (p. 18). The first limitation is that the response rates to questionnaires can be low particularly if governed via mail. The second limitation is that data from ranges used in questionnaires can be influenced by reply sets, like compliance effects (Bryman, 2011).
When responding to a group of questions about a leader’s approach, questionnaire respondents give answers in terms of identified characteristics of that leader. As a result, this acquaintance will shape their replies with reverence to the leader despite the leader’s real behaviour (Bryman, 2011). Questionnaire surveys also recognize the dilemma of the same source of divergence. This predicament comes up when respondents give data relating to both the management variables and outcome measures in a certain study (Bryman, 2011).
The third limitation is that most leadership questionnaires have a preset answer set-up that necessitates respondents to reflect back within a period of a number of months or years (Yukl, 2009). In this case, a precise conclusion is hard to make because respondents may not have monitored the conduct at the time it occurred. The fourth limitation is that response partiality can be another source of error. This is because the replies given in leadership assessment questionnaire may be influenced by typecasts and inherent theories about what behaviors are pertinent and enviable (Yukl, 2009).
Problems of Determining Causality
Leadership evaluation questionnaires are filled out by subordinates and the outcome behavior attained are connected with decisive factor measures obtained at the same point in time, and, therefore, with the resulting relationship it is not possible to determine the direction of causality (Yukl, 2009). Another problem of determining causality is that there is more than one reasonable elucidation of causality, and more than one causality type may transpire at the same time. In this context, when an affirmative relationship is found in a survey, pollsters assume causality is from leader behavior to the principle variable. Yukl (2009) indicated that “negative causality can occur when leader behavior is influenced by the criterion variable” (p. 109). For example, the leader is more accommodating to subordinates who demonstrate high performance.
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Another problem of determining causality is that both leader behavior and the criterion variable become shaped in the same way by a third variable (Yukl, 2009). In many leadership appraisals, measures of leader behavior and the decisive factor variables are attained from the same respondents. This correlation will increase if both approaches incline in the same way and consequently there will be a problem in determining causality. Bryman (2011) also says that some of the problems with inferring causality from sample surveys have come to light as a result of the use of longitudinal questionnaire design.