Leadership in academic settings

Quantitative study

Descriptive data peer leadership roles

When participants were answering questions relating to leadership roles, they had to carefully consider their response. Firstly, participants were required to determine the relevance of the current leadership role. Subsequently, they had to assess whether the role was being fulfilled by formal leader/team members or not. Finally, if the role was deemed fulfilled, participants were asked to rate the quality of the leadership on a scale from 0 to 10. This resulted in three possible answering options for participants, with an example here for the peer leaders):

  1. This role is not relevant in the context of my team.
  2. This role is relevant, but is not shown by team members.
  3. One or more team members fulfill this 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 6.3 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).

    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.

    In our analysis of peer leadership roles, the latent profile analyses revealed that peer leadership roles tend to co-occur together and were occupied either all with high quality (blue line), all with medium quality (green line), or all with low quality (red line). In other words, when a few peer leadership roles were fulfilled with high quality in our sample, it is likely that the other leadership roles were also perceived as being fulfilled with high quality.