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Traits and Skills Theory: A Doctoral Learner Comparison Approach in Understanding Leadership Traits and Skills Essay

Traits and Skills Theory: A Doctoral Learner Comparison Approach in Understanding Leadership Traits and Skills Two empirical research studies were compared in the comparison matrix. The articles were located in the Grand Canyon University library. Article one written by Connelly, et al. (2000), is entitled: “Exploring the Relationship of Leadership Skills and Knowledge to Leader Performance.” Article two written by Baum and Locke (2004) is entitled:” The Relationship of Entrepreneurial Traits, Skill, and Motivation to Subsequent Venture Growth.”

Article one examines leadership characteristics and capabilities. Article two contributes to the understanding of personal characteristic and the effects they may have on entrepreneur, was to examine military leaders, and civilian leadership skills which are critical in being a successful leader. Connelly, et al (2000) argues that, “the nature of the leader capacities impact leader behavior and performance.” Baum and Locke (2004) study “contributes to the revival of interest in understanding the effects of entrepreneurs’ personal characteristics importance between relationship of traits and subsequent venture growth among entrepreneurs.”

Connelly, et al (2000) calculated the impacts of leadership skills, and knowledge in addition to the relationship of leader performance. The subsequent study questions included: (RQ1): Does constructed response measure the leader skills, and knowledge that is accounted for the variance in the criteria of leadership? (RQ2): Do certain types of leadership skills and knowledge add predictive value? (RQ3): Do leadership skills account for variance based on being proxies for tests variables that are commonly used? (RQ4): Do complex leader skills and knowledge mediate the effects of cognitive abilities, personality, and motivation, as Mumford et al.’s (2000) model suggests.

Baum and Locke (2004) researched entrepreneurial traits, skill, motivation and venture growth. The questions in the study addressed several hypotheses: (RQ1): Does passion and tenacity directly predict venture growth? (RQ2): What direct effects are related to venture growth? (RQ3): Does passion and tenacity increase skills among entrepreneurs? (RQ4): Does tenacity and passion have an effect on systematization and resource acquisition? (RQ5): Will high venture growth predict vision growth? (RQ6): Will confident founders achieve a greater venture growth than those who are not? (RQ7): Challenging visions generate challenging goals? Purpose of Studies

The purpose of each study reviews the author’s rationale for each topic selection. Connelly, et al (2000) suggests that constructed response measures offers direct assessment of leadership skills and knowledge compared to subordinate measures. The purpose of this study was to examine response measures of military leaders, test leader’s capabilities, and discuss research content as it relates to leadership. Baum and Locke (2004) introduce a better understanding of entrepreneurs’ personal characteristics.

Authors suggest that passion, tenacity, and venture growth are related. The purpose of the study was to build a plausible argument as relationships of traits, skills and motivation are examined. Research Questions

Connelly, et al (2000) compared leadership skills and knowledge to leader performance and the relationship between both. Questions in this study: (RQ1): The need for leadership skills and knowledge during constructed response. (RQ2): The value of skills, and knowledge compared to motivation, cognitive ability, and individual personality.

(RQ3): The effect of skills and knowledge on within leadership. Baum and Locke (2004) researched the effects of entrepreneur’s traits and characteristics. The questions in this this study addresses: (RQ1); Passion influences venture growth? (RQ2): Tenacity influences venture growth? (RQ3): Vision leads to subsequent venture? (RQ4) Higher goals lead to higher venture growth? (RQ5): Tenacity is related to self-efficacy? (RQ6): Challenging goals lead to higher performance? (RQ7): Is there a relationship between passion, tenacity, and vision? (RQ8): Do skilled entrepreneurs exploit candidates? Literature Review

The comparison of each article reveals a complex, however, well written article by both authors. Connelly, et al (2000) empirical research article on exploring leadership skills and knowledge relationship was organized, and began with an explanation of the study, the criterion-related validity, and core aspects of leader capabilities among military leaders. The literature review used secondary headings to separate the subtopics by theoretical issues, existing research, and methods. The discussion format was correlated as the literature reviewed leadership skills, characteristics and their relationship on leader performance.

Baum and Locke (2004) literature review also used secondary headings to separate theoretical issues, existing research and methods. The empirical research article, discussed the relationship of entrepreneurial traits, skills, and motivation and the relationship to growth. The article was organized, and presented previous research. Studies on entrepreneurs’ traits, skills, and motivation the relationship to venture growth were introduced. The correlation between traits and skills among entrepreneurs’ was also correlated and referenced by several authors. Sample Population Study

The sample population study in both article were credible and reliable. Both empirical studies compared sample population, results findings, questions, and limitations. The study by Connelly, et al (2000) empirical research compared a sample population of officers from six grade levels in the United States. Officers from sample A (N=348) and B (N=373) were used. Four groups of officers completed a combination of different samples. Reliability was all within an acceptable range.

Baum and Locke (2004) incorporated a sample study of 442 CEOs and 202 employee participants. The average employed at least 6 in 1993 compared to 20 in 1998. The study eliminated 185 CEO’s based on their responses from a sample of 229 entrepreneurs. Study resulted in: CEOs (229/849=27%) sample population; (229/414=55% respondents. Research Limitations

Connelly, et al (2000) research limitations were based on several influences. First limitation was based on the measurement framework. Second, organizational levels were not compared in assessing potential differences in leader skills and knowledge to performance. Third, results were not cross-validated. Baum and Locke (2004) research limitations were also based on several influences. First, other industries should have been studied. Second, SEM instrument was used. Third, sample was too small. Research Findings

During the research study, it was confirmed each purported specific findings. Connelly, et al (2000) “research supported the hypotheses that leadership skills and knowledge correlate with leader achievement and solution quality criteria.” Study measure produced a moderate to large range of .17 to .51 with positive correlations. The measure used in the study offered a more direct assessment of leadership. The author builds a plausible argument

Baum and Locke (2004) findings support the idea that specific motivation concepts have a strong effect on venture growth. “Findings that the situationally specific motivation concepts studied here have strong direct effects on venture growth are consistent with previous applied psychological research” (Bandura, 1997; Baum et al., 1998; Lock & Lantham, 1990).

The most important finding is that “specific components variables of traits, skills, and motivation are proven to be direct or indirect predictors for venture growth” (Baum and Locke) 2004. The authors build a plausible argument as they examined the relationship of entrepreneurial traits, skill, and motivation to subsequent venture growth. In both studies, the original questions of the authors were answered. Recommendations

Recommendation for further research of each research study is discussed by authors. Connelly, et al (2000) suggest “full model would need to be tested via casual analysis, which might be the next step in further delineating relationships among predictor variables, and leadership criteria” Baum and Locke (2004) suggest “entrepreneur educational programs teach vision information communication and goal setting.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman. Baum, J. R., & Locke, E. A. (2004). The relationship of entrepreneurial traits, skill, and motivation to subsequent venture growth. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(4), 587-598. Baum, J. R., Locke, E. A., & Kirkpatrick, S. (1998).

A longitudinal study of the relation of vision and vision communication to venture growth in entrepreneurial firms. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 43–54. Connelly, M. S., Gilbert, J. A., Zaccaro, S. J., Threlfall, K. V., Marks, M. A., & Mumford, M. D. (2000). Exploring the relationship of leadership skills and knowledge to leader performance. Leadership Quarterly, 11(1), 65-68. Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (1990). A theory of goal setting and task performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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