Study 1: Qualitative interviews
The aim of this first part of the research project was to compile a comprehensive list of all leadership behaviours that are (ideally) demonstrated by either formal leaders or team members (which we will refer to as peer leaders) in the specific context of our university. Here, we focused on positive leadership behaviours that are seen as relevant to achieve positive outcomes (e.g., team effectiveness, well-being of team members, …).
Through this rigorous thematic analysis, we ultimately generated a comprehensive list of 50 distinct leadership behaviours applicable to formal leaders and 40 distinct leadership behaviours applicable to peer leaders. These behaviours represent a wide range of actions and strategies that can contribute to effective leadership within the university setting. You can find the list of all leadership behaviours on this webpage.
Study 2: Focus groups
After compiling a comprehensive list of all possible leadership behaviours, in this second part we aimed to cluster similar forms of leadership behaviour into broader leadership roles, both for the formal leader and for team members. This process involved two phases: an individual card sorting exercise and a group card sorting exercise, conducted in focus groups.
Individual card sorting exercise
Group card sorting exercise
The research team compared the output from the different focus groups and clustered behaviours together if they appeared in at least two out of three groups. In the final phase, the research team discussed and refined the labels for each leadership role to accurately represent the underlying behaviours.
To investigate the associations between the different leadership roles and behaviours and various outcomes, we conducted a large-scale quantitative study, which can be found here.