CARL: The Details
A) Determining the degree and extent of existing responsible leadership competencies for an individual and for a group
To date, several hundred of individual users have used the online assessment to determine their personal responsible leadership competencies. The online survey tool generates automatically a free personal profile with an overview of those competencies that can still be improved and developed. A person can retake the survey repeatedly and self-assess her improvement over a self-selected period of time. A growing number of institutions of higher education (see point b) have started to use the tool to assess the profile of a group of students as a professor starts a given course.
B) Assessing the short and long-term effectiveness of responsible leadership competencies development
A number of business schools in Europe, the US and Africa use the assessment as a way to:
- Enable their students to self-generate their individual RL profile before and after a course,
- Generate class profiles of courses, programs or entire degrees to assess a group’s RL profile and development progress before and after an intervention.
Let us look at the example of a before and after assessment of a recent MBA course. Figure 3 and 4 show how such an evolution might look like for a program comparing the RL competencies of an entire class at the beginning of a program (Figure 1) versus the end of a program (Figure 2). The teaching faculty or the program management can use such information to understand which areas of RL may have been insufficiently addressed during the program and can discuss with the faculty how this might be improved in a next year. We are starting to calibrate the development by assessing the difference of before and after.
Figure 1: Competency Assessment of Responsible Leader (CARL) – BEFORE a course (100% response rate)
Figure 2: Competency Assessment of Responsible Leader (CARL) – AFTER a course (80% response rate)
A comparative analysis of the before and after assessments allows the participants and lecturer to observe the following developments:
- The course brought an overall increase in responsible leadership competencies of 16%
- The action domain “attitude” (being) was most significantly increased, by 55%
- The most change in the competency dimensions occurred in terms of “stakeholder engagement” and “self-awareness” (33% and 34% respectively)
It might well be interesting to assess what interventions may have contributed to significant positive changes. Participants as well as interveners are excellent sources for finding potential avenues of answers to this question.
Pedagogically trained and experienced faculty can look at a class of students take a ‘before-after’ assessment, in order to understand blind spots and learning opportunities at the beginning of a course. Such insight may serve as an additional measure to understand the impact of any learning intervention over a given period at the end of the course.
C) Evaluating a broad range of existing training offerings in terms of responsible leadership impact
The experience with a major Swiss company case has shown that by using the Responsible Leadership Grid, the human resources team was able to assess the effectiveness of their large training and development offer in accordance to the 15 areas identified, allowing them to understand which dimensions where not addressed at all and where they may have overlapping offers that could be optimized in a next phase.
We have operationalized the Responsible Leadership definition and its corresponding grid with its five competency dimensions and three domains of action into 45 sub-categories so that it can be measured and assessed:
|Domains of action||Knowledge (knowing)||Skills (doing)||Attitude (being)|
|Stakeholder relations||1. Methods to identify and integrate legitimate stakeholder groups|
2. Seeing conflict as a foundation for creativity
3. Dealing with conflicting interests of stakeholders
|4. Initiating and moderating a dialogue|
5. Respecting different interests to find a consensus
6. Developing long-term relationships
|7. Being empathic with a desire to help others
8. Being open and trustworthy
9. Appreciating the positive in diversity
|Ethics & values||10. Knowing what is right and wrong|
11. Knowing your own values
12. Understanding dilemmas
|13. Critically questioning and adapting values|
14. Acting according to ethics and own values
15. Acting as a role model
|16. Being honest and integer
17. Seeking fairness
18. Being responsible towards society and sustainability
|Self-awareness||19. Understanding the importance of reflection in the learning process |
20. Knowing oneself
21. Understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses
|22. Learning from mistakes|
23. Reflecting on one’s behavior, mental models and emotions
24. Adapting the communication style
|25. Reflecting about oneself
26. Reflecting about one’s own behavior
27. Sharing one’s developmental challenges
|28. Understanding how the systems works|
29. Understanding inter-dependencies and inter-connections of systems
30. Understanding sustainability challenges and opportunities
|and ambiguity |
32. Estimating consequences of decisions on the system
33. Seeing the big picture and the connections rather than the parts
|34. Working across disciplines & boundaries
35. Defending a long-term perspective
36. Providing a trans-generational perspective
|Change & innovation||37. Understanding the significance of a motivating vision in change processes|
38. Understanding the drivers and enablers of innovation and creativity
39. Understanding conditions, functioning and dynamics of change processes
|1. Developing creative ideas|
2. Acting to bring about change and translating ideas into action
3. Questioning the status-quo and identifying steps of change for a sustainable future
|43. Being open, curious and courageous
44. Being flexible and adaptable for change
45. Being visionary in finding solutions for society’s problems
Our research partner Fehr Advice in Zurich, Switzerland, the applied arm of well-known behavioral economist Ernst Fehr from University of Zurich, offered an interesting solution that would resolve both the time and the social desirability issues.
They provided a smart technology based on assessing response time that was found effective in circumventing the issue of social desirability while significantly reducing the overall survey time. Their technology is based on the measurement of user reaction times, taking into account reading speed. The advantage of this assessment lies in the possibility to thus mitigate the effects of social desirability. Non-veridical responding is reflected in longer response times, which are as a result discounted or excluded. The tool measures an association strength for each survey item (a range from -1 to +1, after re-coding of negatively phrased survey questions, with +1 representing a positive association). The assessment tool works with the initial first instinctive reaction a respondent has to a question, preventing and excluding the option to reflect and thus to select a social desirable answer. The result of a participant’s answer is not dichotomous, but a score indicating the extent to which a participant agreed or disagreed to a particular statement, resulting in a more nuanced reflection of respondents’ skills and attitudes than standard survey questions. The survey is completed in less than five minutes and needs to be taken without interruption in order to generate relevant reaction times and results.
As a result of a number of business schools around the world have started using this assessment, it has been suggested that this online tool might well be way to answer to the question posed by the U.N. Principle of Responsible Management Education (UNPRME), namely to what degree do you actually educate responsible leaders. Business School Lausanne in Switzerland, for instance, has started a survey for all incoming students in all programs (bachelor to doctoral) since September 2016 and has started collecting survey at the end of studies across all these same programs. They are using the CARL in combination with the SuliTest (www.sustainabilitytest.org) as a way to assess progress of students in two dimensions of their vision: responsibility and sustainability. First results to report are anticipated in the coming two years.
More reading about responsible leadership
Check out these great articles:
Brown, M., Trevino, L. & Harrison, D. (2005). Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational Behaviour & Human Decision Processes, 97(2), 117–134.
CARL-website: the Competency Assessment of Responsible Leadership, last accessed March 6th, 2017 on http://www.bsl-lausanne.ch/thought-leadership/competency-assessment-of-responsible-leadership-carl/
Dassah, M. (2010). Responsible Leaders: Attributes and Roles in a Multi-challenged Global Business Environment and Implications for Leadership Development. In Centre for Responsible Leadership (Ed.), The Next Generation Responsible Leaders (p. 30–37). Accessed June 1, 2014 on http://web.up.ac.za/sitefiles/file/40/1055/10099/EMS%20May_CRL_ConfProcWeb.pdf
Datar, S.M., Garvin, D.A., and Cullen, P.G. (2010). Rethinking the MBA. Business education at the crossroads. Boston, Harvard Business Press.
Doh, J. and Stumpf, S. (2005). Towards a framework of responsible leadership and governance. In J. Doh & S. Stumpf (Eds.), Handbook on Responsible Leadership and Governance in Global Business (p. 3–18). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Dougan, J. (2006). SRLS-Rev 2: The second revision of SRLS. College Park, MD: National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.
Dyllick, T. and Muff, K. (2014). Students leading collaboratories: University of St. Gallen. In Muff, K. (ed.). The Collaboratory. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing.
Euler, D. & Hahn A. (2007). Wirtschaftsdidaktik. 2nd edition. Bern: Haupt.
GRLI. (2005). Globally Responsible Leadership: A Call for Engagement. Accessed June 1, 2014 on http://www.grli.org/images/stories/grli/documents/globally_responsible_leadership_report.pdf
GRLI. (2008). The Globally Responsible Leader: A Call for Action. Accessed June 1, 2014 on http://www.grli.org/images/stories/grli/documents/Manifesto_GLOBAL.pdf
Hmelo-Silver, C. E., Duncan, R. G. & Chinn, C. A. (2007). Scaffolding and achievement in problem-based and inquiry learning: A response to Kirschner, Sweller and Clark. Educational Psychologist, 42(2), 99-107.
Hosenfeld, A. (2010). Führt Unterrichtsrückmeldung zu Unterrichtsentwicklung? Münster: Waxman.
Kotrubczik, H. (2008). Fragebogen zur Selbsteinschätzung der Kompetenzen im beruflichen Kontext [electronic version]. Unpublished bachelorstudy, Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften. Accessed on March 12, 2016 at http://www.zhaw.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/psychologie/Downloads/Bibliothek/Arbeiten/BA/ba0024.pdf
Liechti, A. (2014). Collaboratories als wirksame Methode zur Ausbildung von veranwortungsvollen Führungskräften? Master‘s Thesis at University of St. Gallen. Retrieved on 22 November, 2016, from: http://www.nachhaltigkeit.unisg.ch/~/media/internet/content/dateien/instituteundcenters/nh/masterarbeit_anna%20liechti_08606733.pdf?fl=de
Maak, T. (2007). Responsible leadership, stakeholder engagement, and the emergence of social capital. Journal of Business Ethics, 74, 329–343.
Maak, T. & Pless, N. (2006a). Introduction: The quest for responsible leadership in business. In T. Maak & N. M. Pless (Eds.), Responsible Leadership (p. 1–13). New York: Routledge.
Maak, T. & Pless, N. (2006b). Responsible leadership: A relational approach. In T. Maak & N. Pless (Eds.), Responsible Leadership (p. 33–53). New York: Routledge.
Manfred F. R., De Vries, K, (2005). Global Executive Leadership Inventory (GELI), Facilitator’s Guide Set. Hoboken NJ: Pfeiffer.
Marquardt, M. & Berger, N. (2000). Global Leaders for the 21st Century. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Mirvis, P., DeJongh, D., Googins, B., Quinn, L. & Van Velsor, E. (2010). Responsible Leadership Emerging: Individual, Organizational, and Collective Frontiers. Accessed June 1, 2014 on http://web.up.ac.za/sitefiles/file/2013%20ALCRL%20Position%20paper.pdf
Muff, K. (2012). Are business schools doing their job? Journal of Management Development, 31 (7), 648–662.
Muff, K. (2013). Developing globally responsible leaders in business schools: A vision and transformational practice for the journey ahead. Journal of Management Development, 32(5), 487–507.
Muff, K., Dyllick, T., Drewell, M., North, J., Shrivastava, P. & Haertle, J. (2013). Management Education for the World – A Vision for Business Schools Serving People and Planet. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Muff, K., Mayenfisch-Tobin M., (2014). The right attitude as a key hiring criterion for graduate students in Switzerland. Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management (2-2), 43–55.
Muff, K. (2016). The Collaboratory: A Common Transformative Space for Individual, Organizational and Societal Transformation. Journal Corporate Ctizenship. 18(2), 91-108.
Kotrubczik, H. (2008). Fragebogen zur Selbsteinschätzung der Kompetenzen im beruflichen Kontext [Elektronische Version]. Unveröffentlichte Bachelorarbeit, Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften. Accessed on March 3, 2014 http://www.zhaw.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/psychologie/Downloads/Bibliothek/Arbeiten/BA/ba0024.pdf
Pless, N. (2007). Understanding responsible leadership: role identity and motivational drivers. Journal of Business Ethics, 74, 437–456.
Pless, N. & Maak, T. (2011). Responsible Leadership: Pathways to the Future. Journal of Business Ethics, 98, 3–13.
Pless, N. & Schneider, R. (2006). Towards developing responsible global leaders: The Ulysses experience. In T. Maak & N. Pless (Eds.), Responsible Leadership (p. 213–226). Abingdon: Routledge.
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Zoppi (2016). Responsible Leadership @ Swisscom. A Masterstudy conducted at the Institute of Applied Psychology at the Applied Sciences University North-West Switzerland. Thesis is under lock due to confidentiality agreement with Swisscom.
The online survey tool generates automatically a free personal profile with an overview of those competencies that can still be improved and developed
Pedagogically trained and experienced faculty can look at a class of students take a ‘before-after’ assessment, in order to understand blind spots and learning opportunities at the beginning of a course.
This online tool might well be way to answer to the question posed by the U.N. Principle of Responsible Management Education (UNPRME), namely to what degree do you actually educate responsible leaders.
As a result of a number of business schools around the world have started using this assessment, it has been suggested that this online tool might well be way to answer to the question posed by the U.N. Principle of Responsible Management Education (UNPRME), namely to what degree do you actually educate responsible leaders.