Leadership in academic settings

Quantitative study

Descriptive data peer leadership roles

When participants were answering questions relating to leadership behaviours and roles, they had to carefully consider their response. For each leadership behaviour and leadership role, participants had three options:

    1. This behavious/role is not relevant in the context of my team.
    2. This behaviour/role is relevant, but is not shown by team members.
    3. One or more team members fulfill this behaviour/role, and I rate the quality of their leadership.

    To facilitate participant responses, we employed a multiple-choice system. An example of how this appeared on the Qualtrics platform is provided in the image below:

    Relevance of peer leadership roles

    The subsequent graphs present the questionnaire responses, providing visual representations for how many participants considered the roles to be not relevant, relevant but not fulfilled, and relevant and fulfilled. To illustrate, 6% of participants in the total sample perceive the role of the social leader as not relevant; 9.3% consider the role of social leader as relevant, but indicate it is not fulfilled in their team; and 84.7% consider the role of social leader relevant and indicate it is fulfilled.

    The social leader

    The proactive leader

    The innovative leader

    The development leader

    The welfare leader

    The external leader

    The liaison leader

    The identity-strengthening leader

    The logistics leader

    The task leader

    The cooperation leader

    The connecting leader

    The psychological safety leader

    The critical leader

      Perceived quality of peer leadership roles

      The following graphs depict the average perceived quality of peer leadership roles. Error bars are incorporated to represent the standard deviations. These averages ranged from 6.1 to 7.0, measured on a scale from 0 to 10.

      The following graphs depict the average perceived quality of peer leadership roles for faculty/departmental/campus boards, POC-teams, research teams, and ATP-teams. Error bars are incorporated to represent the standard deviations.

      Relation between peer leadership roles

      This table represents the correlations between the different peer leadership roles. These findings show a low to moderate interconnectivity between peer leadership roles (with most correlations falling between .40 and .60). With a low to moderate level of interconnectivity being observed between the different peer leadership roles, these findings suggest that, while being related, these leadership roles are different constructs.

      Latent profile analysis

      Next, we performed latent profile analyses using M-plus, in order to identify underlying latent profiles or distinct patterns of leadership behaviour. By conducting latent profile analyses, we aimed to identify potential distinct combinations or configurations of leadership roles that tend to co-occur together.

      The findings for peer leadership roles mirrored those of formal leadership roles. Similarly, no distinct profiles displaying unique combinations of some peer leadership roles with higher scores and others with lower scores emerged from the data. Also here, the latent profile analyses indicated that peer leadership roles tend to co-occur together. In essence, if the peer leader(s) fulfil some peer leadership roles in a high-quality manner, it is likely that also the other peer leadership roles will be perceived as being fulfilled effectively.