Efficacy in ROTC: Leader-follower congruence
Efficacy, or confidence, is important to understand because it predicts one’s performance success (Bandura, 1995). Self-efficacy describes one’s confidence in oneself (“I believe I am good”), other-efficacy is one’s confidence in another individual in their group (“I believe my follower is good”), and relation-inferred self-efficacy (RISE) is defined as one’s belief in someone else’s confidence in oneself (“I believe my leader thinks I am good”; Lent & Lopez, 2002). Research has shown that followers generally underestimate their leaders’ confidence in them (RISE; Jackson & Beauchamp, 2010). Although this can have negative consequences such as lowering their own self-efficacy and affecting their performance, it has not been examined in military settings. Success is vital in the military because failure could cost people their lives. The purpose of this study is to (1) explore Air Force ROTC cadets’ confidence in themselves and their team members, as well as their estimated confidence their respective leaders and followers have in them, and (2) examine congruency between their actual confidence (other-efficacy) and their estimated RISE through a questionnaire. Students from a university-level ROTC program (n=59) participated in this study by answering a one-time questionnaire specific to their status as a cadet leader or follower. Of these cadets, 12 were classified as “leaders” for this study and 47 were classified as “followers.” The leaders were generally upperclassmen of higher rank whereas the followers were cadets of lower rank. Followers were split into two groups: upper and underclassmen. All surveys included questions about self-efficacy, other-efficacy, and RISE answered on 1-5 scale. Initial results indicate that the cadets’ overall highest confidence was their other-efficacy (mean=4.56). Self-efficacy was lowest on average with a mean of 4.37. While RISE averages were 4.43. Comparing roles, SE was highest for the leaders, RISE for the upperclassman followers, and OE for the underclassman followers. Correlations were be calculated to examine the congruence between the leaders’ and followers’ confidence in themselves, others, and perceived confidence others have in them. Assessing the types of efficacy can help this ROTC program evaluate its strengths and weaknesses to further develop their practices and improve the military by utilizing new leadership training tactics.
Flinchum, Evin. (May 2022). Efficacy in ROTC: Leader-follower congruence (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/10805.)
Flinchum, Evin. Efficacy in ROTC: Leader-follower congruence. Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, May 2022. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/10805. September 27, 2023.
Flinchum, Evin, “Efficacy in ROTC: Leader-follower congruence” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, May 2022).
Flinchum, Evin. Efficacy in ROTC: Leader-follower congruence [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2022.
East Carolina University