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14 Factors for Measuring Leadership and Management Performance

Driving change at the intersection of Leadership & Navigation and Critical Evaluation

A group of business people standing in front of a board with sticky notes on it.

​Organizations face challenges in defining and assessing the performance of their leaders. It can take significant investments of time and other resources to make decisions about how and what to measure. But some of the work of defining leadership and management performance has already been done: There is a model that organizations can use to differentiate between traits that signify management and traits that signify leadership.

John Campbell, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, has created a framework for performance analysis. In the early 1980s, he and his colleagues undertook in-depth research into the topic of job performance. In 1993, they proposed a model of performance applicable to all jobs. Then, in 2012, Campbell conducted a comprehensive review of nearly three decades of performance research and practice. The findings from that study, Leadership, the Old, the New, and the Timeless: A Commentary, which appears as a chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Leadership (Oxford University Press, 2012), identified 14 factors that can be used to assess leadership and management across organizational levels and in many contexts: selection, training and development, job design, and job performance. Six factors relate to leadership and eight to management. (See accompanying infographic.)

Leadership and management both utilize influence, but leadership more specifically uses interpersonal influence. Management influence is not necessarily interpersonal. According to Campbell, leaders influence the behavior of others to enhance individual and collective performance. This reflects the definition of Leadership & Navigation in the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge. That competency highlights the roles of HR professionals in aligning HR with organizational culture, leading organizational change and serving as key business partners. 

Organizations can assess leadership and management performance by also applying the competency of Critical Evaluation. Start with the factors that Campbell identified and contextualize them (e.g., in degree of formality, level of vocabulary, etc.) for your specific organizational culture. The factors' formal names are less important than their fit within your organization. 

In assessing the effectiveness of your leaders and managers, use the infographic as a shortcut and quick reference to Campbell's 14 factors. They will facilitate conversations that can begin to align employees to the standards of leadership and management sought by your organization.

​Guides and directs work methods and roles
​Makes decisions and solves problems
Trains and coaches others​Sets goals, plans, organizes and budget​
Provides recognition and support​​Coordinates the work of two or more units
​Delegates authority and responsibility
Monitors unit effectiveness​
​Serves as a role model
Manages staffing​
​Encourages goal achievement
Represents the organization externally​
Ensures compliance and commitment to rules​

Performs administrative tasks​

From: Leadership, the Old, the New, and the Timeless: A Commentary, by John Campbell, Ph.D.

Erin Patton, SHRM-SCP, is an HR Knowledge Advisor in SHRM's HR Knowledge Center.


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