A confirmatory factor analytic study of a self-leadership measure in South Africa
CITATION: Mahembe, B., Engelbrecht, A.S. & De Kock, F.S. 2013. A confirmatory factor analytic study of a self-leadership measure in South Africa. SA Journal of Human Resource Management / SA Tydskrif van Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 11(1): 1-10, doi: 10.4102/sajhrm.v11i1.520.
The original publication is available at http://www.sajhrm.co.za
Orientation: Self-leadership is considered to be essential for effective individual functioning in occupational and academic contexts. The revised self-leadership questionnaire (RSLQ) is widely utilised for measuring self-leadership, but its psychometric properties have not been established on a South African sample. By implication, important questions also exist about the theoretical structure of self-leadership in the South African context. Research purpose: The research aim of this study was to investigate the reliability and factorial validity of the revised self-leadership questionnaire on a South African sample. In doing so, the results of the research would also provide valuable insights into the latent factor structure of the self-leadership construct. Motivation for the study: On a practical level, the research sought internal validity evidence for the use of the RSLQ in the South African context. On a theoretical level, questions remain about the best conceptual representation of self-leadership as a construct. Research design, approach and method: The revised self-leadership questionnaire was administered to a non-probability sample of 375 South African young adults. The first and second-order factor structure underlying contemporary models of self-leadership using confirmatory factor analytic techniques was tested. Main findings: Results showed that the RSLQ measured self-leadership with suitable reliability and internal validity. All eight subscales had high internal consistency coefficients. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the first and second-order models conclusively demonstrated good factorial validity. Practical/managerial implications: The study found that the RSLQ has good measurement properties for a South African context. Academics, practitioners and managers are urged to use the measure in its present form for applications such as leadership development and promoting self-management. Contribution/value-addition: The study extends the body of psychometric evidence supporting the use of the revised self-leadership questionnaire in the South African milieu. The researchers have further indicated that self-leadership can be represented by a hierarchical latent factor structure, where a general factor drives more specific dimensions of self-leadership.