Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire

The Fundamentals of LBDQ

The Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ) is a survey technique whereby group members may describe the leadership behavior of designated leaders in formal organizations. LBDQ identified Initiating Structure and Consideration as two fundamental dimensions of leader behavior.

The Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ) has been used in several countries to study leadership behavior. Researchers compared the results of several studies employing the LBDQ. The results were obtained using a Likert-style scale with 1 indicating that the ideal leader should never exhibit the behavior, and 5 indicating that the leader should always exhibit the behavior, with the anchor points:

The LBDQ contains several question items, each of which does not test leader ability but merely asks the leader to describe as accurately as possible a specific way in which he/she behaves towards members of the group under his/her supervision.

A sample of the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire looks like this:

Sample of Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire

Instructions

  1. Read each item carefully and think about how often you (or the person you are evaluating) engage in the described behavior.
  2. Indicate your response to each item by circling one of the five numbers to the right of each item.

Questionnaire items:

Anchor points

NeverSeldomOccasio
-nally
OftenAlways
  • Tells group members what they are supposed to do.
12345
  • Acts friendly with members of the group.
12345
  • Makes pep talks to stimulate the group.
12345
  • Allows the members complete freedom in their work.
12345
  • Makes suggestions about how to solve problems.
12345
  • Responds favorably to suggestions made by others.
12345
  • Responds favorably to suggestions made by others.
12345
  • Makes his or her perspective clear to others.
12345
  • Treats others fairly.
12345
  • Develops a plan of action for the group.
12345
  • Develops a plan of action for the group.
12345
  • Behaves in a predictable manner toward group members.
12345

The Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire usually contains over a hundred question items, which of course, cannot be covered within this literature.

The development of LBDQ at Ohio State University in the United States identified Initiating StructureOpens in new window and ConsiderationOpens in new window as two fundamental dimensions of leader behavior. Thus, the main purpose of LBDQ is to give data regarding the extent to which a leader exhibits leadership style that is high in both consideration and initiating structure.

Stogdill (1963) redesigned the LBDQ into twelve factors. The twelve LBDQ XII subscales represent a complex and varied pattern of explicit leadership behavior described as follows:

  1. Factor 1 ⇒ Representation, which measures to what degree the manager speaks as the representative of the group.
  2. Factor 2 ⇒ Demand reconciliation, which reflects how well the manager reconciles conflicting demands and reduces disorder in the system.
  3. Factor 3 ⇒ Tolerance of uncertainty, which depicts to what extent the manager is able to tolerate uncertainty and postponement without anxiety or getting upset.
  4. Factor 4 ⇒ Persuasiveness, which measures to what extent the manager uses persuasion and argument effectively; exhibits strong convictions.
  5. Factor 5 ⇒ Initiation of structure, which measures to what degree the manager clearly defines own role, and lets followers know what is expected.
  6. Factor 6 ⇒ Tolerance of freedom, which reflects to what extent the manager allows followers scope for initiative, decision, and action.
  7. Factor 7 ⇒ Role assumption, which measures to what degree the manager exercises actively the leadership role rather than surrendering leadership to others.
  8. Factor 8 ⇒ Consideration, which depicts to what extent the manager regards the comfort, well-being, status, and contributions of followers.
  9. Factor 9 ⇒ Production emphasis, which measures to what degree the manager applies pressure for productive output.
  10. Factor 10 ⇒ Predictive accuracy, which measures to what extent the manager exhibits foresight and ability to predict outcomes accurately.

To gather data about your leadership style, you may want to have four or five of your peers or coworkers fill out the LBDQ based on their perceptions of you as a leader. This will give you additional data to compare and contrast to your own scores about your leadership styles.