Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version

December 2006


A DISSERTATION, University of Nebraska, Doctor of Philosophy. Major: Human Sciences (Leadership Studies). December 2006. Lincoln, Nebraska. Copyright 2006 Marilyn J. Bugenhagen.


This field study examined the antecedents of transactional, transformational, and servant leadership behaviors measured on continuum of constructive-development development theory.

Data collected from 54 leaders and 409 followers from community and educational leadership programs across the United States. A multi-level analysis conducted using hierarchical linear modeling combining leaders’ perception of their leadership behaviors, followers rating of leaders’ behaviors and measure of leaders’ level of constructive-development order.

Using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Avolio & Bass, 2004) and Servant Leadership Questionnaire (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2006) and correlated with constructive-development Order using the Subject-Object Interview (Kegan,1982; Lahey, Souvaine, Kegan, Goodman, & Felix, 1988) several results related leaders’ behaviors and exchange processes between leaders and followers.

One finding study suggests leaders acknowledged the overuse of managing others based upon rules, standards, and past mistakes in their self-ratings. Leaders’ use of active management-by-exception may impact his/her response to followers’ failures, mistakes, and adherence to standards. This overuse of rules, standards, and past failures may result from leaders’ perceptions of what others ask of their ability to ‘be’ leaders.

At constructive-development Third Order, leaders’ in this study showed strong belief in providing developmental activities for followers (individual consideration). Coupled with the finding on active management-by-exception, followers may not consider leaders’ activity as developmental but more for the preservation of the organization and its systems.

Leaders also believed they provided stimulation to followers in their organizations for innovation and creativity to solve problems in new ways (intellectual stimulation).

One attributes of servant leadership behavior was significant in this study Followers’ indicated a leader’s wisdom, (awareness and foresight), had a positive connection with leader’s constructive-development Order.

As one of few known studies of leader’s behaviors and constructive-development theory, this research holds promise for longitudinal study and replication to increase the understanding of how leaders can rise to the behaviors as outlined in the transformational and servant leadership theories. This type of study could provide valuable information and insights for encouraging development of individuals and organizations who work on problems and processes in today’s complex organizations. Adviser: John E. Barbuto, Jr.