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Dissertation Abstract

The Measurement of Personal Trustworthiness in Adult Self-Directed Leaders

Brian L. Duhart
April 2011

Self-directed leadership is a process by which a leader learns to focus more on intrinsic and less on extrinsic motivation. Manz and Neck (2004) posited self-directed leaders are leaders who exercise self-influence to motivate and direct their own behaviors. The purpose of this study is to examine the current literature on intentional behaviors associated with the construct of trustworthiness in adult self-directed leaders who will be used to develop and validate an instrument that will measure the levels of trustworthiness in a self-directed leader. Carr, Coe, Derrick, and Ponton proposed a definition of self-directed leadership at the 2007 International Self-Directed Learning Symposium in Orlando, Florida based on Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War: -Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage and sternness (p. 44). A sociorhetorical analysis of the trustworthiness construct as defined in 500 BCE by Sun Tzu and Confucius was compared to the currently and widely recognized definitions of trustworthiness. The three co-occurring behaviors of the trustworthiness construct of self-directed leaders are (a) perceived ability, (b) perceived behavioral intention of benevolence, and (c) perceived behavioral intention of integrity. All three elements are relative to a clear system of reward and punishment accepted as fair and impartial by the follower. The Inventory of Leader Trustworthiness (ILT) was developed and validated for this study. Based on the results of this study, the ILTv2 is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing trustworthiness in adult self-directed leaders. This study was conducted as an isolated factor of a group effort to develop and test theoretical constructs associated with the five factors of self-directed leadership. To ensure consistency and continuity of these five separate but related factors, the researcher of each individual construct used certain operational and methodological material that were described in identical terms by each researcher involved in the self-directed leader project. As a result, some identical, similar, or parallel language will be found in the individual research associated with the intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and sternness constructs.