Identification of a Leadership Competency Model for Use in the Development, Recruitment & Retention of Intermodal Transportation Professionals [Final Report]
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Identification of a Leadership Competency Model for Use in the Development, Recruitment & Retention of Intermodal Transportation Professionals [Final Report]

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  • Alternative Title:
    Identification of a leadership competency model for use in the development, recruitment and retention of intermodal transportation professionals
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    Competencies are thought to be underlying behavioral characteristics that are causally related to criterion-referenced effective and/or superior performance in a job or situation (Spencer & Spencer, 1993). A competency model, then, has been defined as a collection of competencies associated with successful performance (Garman & Johnson, 2006). It has long been thought that competencies can be used for a variety of performance improvement purposes as they provide specific behavioral sets that can be defined, communicated, and used as the focus of training programs (Spencer & Spencer, 1993). Establishment of competency models have been linked to increased effectiveness in training and hiring procedures in a variety of industries (Ricciardi, 2005; Wang, 2003), and have been shown to improve overall leadership effectiveness (Calhoun, Dollett, Sinioris, Wainio, Butler, Griffith, & Warden, 2008). Though several general managerial competency models exist, recent research has shown the importance of having industry-specific leadership competency models in place to achieve superior leadership results (Calhoun et al.). The purpose of this study was to identify the core competencies that predict highly effective performance in intermodal transportation managers that will pave the way for development of a core competency model and accompanying assessment tool that can be used to recruit, train, and retain effective transportation leaders. There were two overarching purposes of this research: 1) to identify the essential leadership competencies in intermodal transportation and organize them into a model, and 2) to begin the development process of a leadership competency measure which can be used in a variety of intermodal transportation agencies. Three separate samples were obtained in this four-phase study: 1) an expert panel of eleven human resource managers in transportation, 2) sixty-two mid-to-upper level managers, and 3) two hundred and twenty-eight peers/colleagues selected by the managerial sample to rate their performance. Both manager samples completed a 360 degree performance instrument specifically developed for use in this study, the Intermodal Transportation Managerial Competency Questionnaire (ITMCQ) Content analysis of the focus group data identified the following nine categories as critical leadership competency clusters: Leadership, Analytical, Marketing, Technical, Business Management, Communication, Financial, Sensitivity, and Strategic. The survey data, on the other hand, yielded the following competencies as most important to managers in intermodal transportation: perseveres in delivering what is promised even when obstacles arise, collaborates effectively with others, spends time and energy on the most important priorities, demonstrates high personal standards, and knows how to get things done. Further, the factors found to differentiate the superior and average leadership groups were; collaborates effectively with others, delivers superior results, and demonstrates functional/technical expertise. Putting this data together and collapsing the various areas yielded a three cluster model: Interpersonal Effectiveness, Technical/Industry-Specific Effectiveness and Self-Effectiveness. The initial version of the Intermodal Transportation Leadership Competency Model (ITLCM) is presented.
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