The role of self-regulation as a meta-competency in developing leaders: a longitudinal field experimental study

  • Joobee Yeow

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The question of how to develop leaders so that they are more effective in a variety of situations, roles and levels has inspired a voluminous amount of research. While leader development programs such as executive coaching and 360-degree feedback have been widely practiced to meet this demand within organisations, the research in this area has only scratched the surface. Drawing from the past literature and leadership practices, the current research conceptualised self-regulation, as a metacompetency that would assist leaders to further develop the specific competencies needed to perform effectively in their leadership role, leading to an increased rating of leader effectiveness and to enhanced group performance. To test this conceptualisation, a longitudinal field experimental study was conducted across ten months with a pre- and two post-test intervention designs with a matched control group. This longitudinal field experimental compared the difference in leader and team performance after receiving self-regulation intervention that was delivered by an executive coach. Leaders in experimental group also received feedback reports from 360-degree feedback at each stage. Participants were 40 leaders, 155 followers and 8 supervisors. Leaders’ performance was measured using a multi-source perceptual measure of leader performance and objective measures of team financial and assessment performance. Analyses using repeated measure of ANCOVA on pre-test and two post-tests responses showed a significant difference between leader and team performance between experimental and control group. Furthermore, leader competencies mediated the relationship between self-regulation and performance. The implications of these findings for the theory and practice of leadership development training programs and the impact on organisational performance are discussed.
Date of AwardMar 2011
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRobin P Martin (Supervisor)


  • Leadership development
  • competencies
  • self-regulation
  • coaching
  • selfregulatory intervention

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