Study of Australian Leadership

Client: University of Melbourne

There is evidence linking leadership quality to organisational performance. The Study of Australian Leadership (SAL) is the first such study to be conducted in Australia since 1995 and one of the largest studies of its kind in the world. The study explored leadership capability within Australian workplaces with 5 or more employees, excluding those in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.

The project received clearance from the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee, and the Australian Government Statistical Clearing House. To ensure a representative sample was drawn, stratified sampling by organisation size and industry was undertaken. Workplaces were selected as a second stage sample unit from screening and profiling data collected from the selected organisation.

The two stage sample design balanced respondent burden, organisation size and industry representation. Five interlocking survey instruments were cognitively tested and then administered to almost 8,000 individuals including senior managers, front line managers and employees in 2,561 Australian workplaces using a mixed mode approach (CATI, online and hardcopy).

A responsive fieldwork design and customised relationship-management was important to maximise response from this time poor audience. Advanced weighting was employed to ensure the data were representative of all Australian workplaces. Findings by the University of Melbourne show how leadership matters for performance, engagement and innovation but delivery depends on levels within the organisation. Weaknesses were also revealed. SAL fills an important gap in understanding how leadership can influence productivity, innovation and Australia’s long-term competitiveness.

Disclaimer: The research we conduct is on behalf of our clients and we are unable to independently release results without their permission.

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