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Understanding the leadership perspective in wildland firefighting: gaps and opportunities for growth

Author(s): Alexis L. Waldron, David P. Schary
Year Published: 2019
Description:

The aim of this study was to develop and assess the viability of a leadership scale that measures leadership from the perspective of the leader. A criterion sample was used of firefighters across USA federal land management agencies who are qualified crew bosses. The Supervisor Perceived Leadership Scale (SPLS) consists of perceptions of items that have measured the most essential leadership skills – competent decision making, integrity and personal genuineness from the perspective of the subordinate in the previously developed Crewmember Perceived Leadership Scale (CPLS). Through confirmatory factor analysis, an 18-item, 2-factor structure was supported. However, the items that did not load were highly related and loaded well on the CPLS. The SPLS had a low to moderate relationship with authentic leadership and global competence. The gap between the SPLS and CPLS provides insight about the potential differences between the average fire leader and the exceptional fire leader. These results and implications for future research are discussed.

Citation: Waldron AL, and Schary DP. 2019. Understanding the leadership perspective in wildland firefighting: gaps and opportunities for growth. International Journal of Wildland Fire Published online 14 February 2019. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF18007
Topic(s): Human Dimensions of Fire Management, Organizational Effectiveness, Leadership
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 18911
Record updated: Feb 20, 2019