A group laboratory approach to training leaders in the Protestant Church
Fowler, Marylu Jensen
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The basic design of the research underlying this dissertation involves an attempt to measure change, in selected areas of leadership, which may be attributed to the Institute training program of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Data were gathered from the delegates before, during, and after the Province III (Middle Atlantic States) training program to determine as accurately as possible the amount, and direction, of change in three areas--the leader role image, training skills, and the general approach to a training task. The research project had two goals: (1) the measurement of the described change, and (2) the development of instruments for such measurement. Six instruments were designed and administered. Because of the bulk of data gathered, those from three instruments were deleted in the presentation of the findings--the Trainers' Report, the Case Study, and the Categories Instrument. With the information from the Biographical Data Instrument used as background, the reported findings are based on the data from the Traits Instrument (on the leader role image) and the Training Skills Instrument. The raw score data and the score-shifts from one administration to another were tabulated and presented in frequency tables and grapha. Simple mathematical calculations furnished percentages of stability and change--the bases for the many comparisons made between various items of an instrument, groups of items, and groups of people. A coordinated statistical procedure was used to obtain t values. The personal observations of the writer throughout the Institute proved valuable in providing interpretation of the data and the findings therefrom. The findings include the following: 1. Every indication to date shows the instruments to be valid and reliable. Suggestions are made for possible revision of wording and/or the handling of the data. 2. The overall program of the Province III Institute accomplished net gains toward sponsor goals (stated norms) in most of the traits and skills. 3. In comparison with the 1964 Protestant Church Laboratory, Green Lake, Wisconsin, the data indicate that the Institute achieved greater net gains in every overall trait group and in most of the subgroups of traits. 4. In comparing the three aspects of the leader role image, the date indicate a definite patterns highest net gains in the Ideal Image, lower net gains in the Self Image, and the lowest net gains in the Social Image. 5. The rank order of net gains for the trait groups presented was: highest--those traits of greatest importance to the sponsor which also had the greatest potential for change toward the stated norms; next--those of greatest potential for change toward the stated norms (without other qualification); next--the entire group of twenty traits; lowest--those with the greatest potential for change but not of the greatest importance to the sponsor. 6. The self-scores of the participants indicated net gains in skill improvement ranging from 13.6% to 32.2%, a substantial change for such a relatively abort period of time. Research is needed regarding the following: 1. To what extent were the changes indicated by these data peculiar to this one Institute? To any and every Institute? 2. Will the measured changes endure? Did other unmeasured changes occur? 3. In what way(s) could the net gains be increased in each of the area under consideration? 4. What caused the differences in net gains between the Institute and the Protestant Church Laboratory? 5. Was the large amount of shift away from the stated norms due to the inadequacy of the norms or of the Institute program? 6. What interpretation should be placed on the presence or absence of congruity, or the increase or decrease in congruity variance, for any pair of leader role images?
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