Research Article Open Access

Development and Validation of a Measure of Relational Leadership: Implications for Leadership Theory and Policies

James Carifio1
  • 1 University of Massachusetts-Lowell, United States


Problem statement: This study reports the development and validation of the Relational Leadership Questionnaire (RLQ). The consensus attributes of relational leadership are that the relational leader is caring, empowering, ethical, inclusive and has vision. These characteristics also reflect the newest theory and view of leadership in the psychological literature as well. Approach: For each of these 5 attributes, 10 Likert items were written using a 7 point response scale. These 50 items were administered to 141 high school teachers. Five factors were found for the RLQ and the 5 items with the highest factors loadings for each attribute were retained for the confirmatory study. Results: A confirmatory study was done with 434 elementary, middle and high school teachers who also responded to the LMX leadership scale (the “known marker” scale) and Mayer's trust scale. The hypothesized correlations with the LMX and trust scales were obtained as were the expected factor structures. The RLQ was in general validated, but gender, teaching level and teaching experience was found to significantly influence factor structures and scores on all three instruments. Conclusion: The meaning and implications of these findings are discussed as they are important to both research on and theories of leadership. These finding also have a number of key and important policy implications in the assessment and evaluation of educational leaders from school principals to university presidents and legislative committee members. These later implications are also discussed in detail and in terms of the different model of educational leadership and policy formulation they suggest.

Current Research in Psychology
Volume 1 No. 1, 2010, 16-28


Submitted On: 29 June 2009 Published On: 20 June 2010

How to Cite: Carifio, J. (2010). Development and Validation of a Measure of Relational Leadership: Implications for Leadership Theory and Policies. Current Research in Psychology, 1(1), 16-28.

  • 23 Citations



  • Leadership
  • leadership measurement
  • leadership theory
  • relational leadership
  • individual differences and interactions