Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology Project Brief

About the Project:

About the Project:


This study examines the different styles of leadership exhibited by entrepreneurs and how those styles affect organizational culture. While we know quite a bit about leadership and about organizational culture independently, we actually know relatively little about how the two work together. The available literature indicates that a relationship exists, but gives little evidence of how that relationship manifests itself in the workplace. In this survey, we are studying CEOs who started small to mid-size companies. We hope to understand their backgrounds, aspirations, and motivations, as well as their leadership styles to see how those factors relate to cultural factors critical to success in the organization — such as employee engagement, discretionary effort, teamwork, and loyalty.

Participant Requirements

Participants in this study should be founder CEOs of their organization. The organization should be at least two years old, and have an average annual revenue of at least $5 million. The company size should be 25 people or more.

What We Will Need From You

We will need to collect data from the CEO of your organization, as well as input from his/her staff, and a sample of employees. Below is a list of surveys that we will conduct, and what each involves.

CEO/President Involvement:

  • Interview: Short phone interview (e.g., 30-40 min) with the CEO/President that covers topics such as motives/goals in starting the company, vision/mission of the company, etc.
  • Biodata Questionnaire: Questionnaire asking specific questions about the person’s life history, as well as facts/figures about the company. Taken online. Takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
  • Values Questionnaire: Short questionnaire that measures 10 value categories including power, achievement, success, and benevolence. Taken online. Takes about 12 minutes to complete.

CEO/President Staff Involvement:

  • Multi-Source Leadership Assessment Feedback Survey (Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire): A 45-item online instrument that assesses various types of leadership capability; completed by multiple constituents with which the CEO/President interacts — his/her peers, direct reports, and board (if appropriate). He/she also completes a self-assessment. Usually takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Organizational Involvement:

  • Climate/Culture Survey: Measures organizational commitment and citizenship behaviors, employee engagement, turnover intention, and organizational justice (fairness). Approximately 60 items. Administered to a random sample of employees. Taken online. About 20 minutes to complete.

What You Will Get in Return

In return for your involvement, you will receive a prepublication of the Fast Company report. In addition, you will receive a feedback report on the Leadership Assessment of the CEO (a $150 value). Lastly, you will receive an Employee Engagement Survey report (worth up to $15,000), detailing the organizational climate results for your company, and benchmarking how your company fared against other companies in the study.

About Confidentiality

All data will be collected by the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP). All information collected is for research purposes only and will not be used for any purpose outside of that outlined in this research brief. Your company name, as well as any identifying information for any individual or company will not be divulged to anyone without advance consent.


About Fast Company‘s Follow-up Story

The results of this study will be published, in the aggregate, in an upcoming issue of Fast Company. Some participants may be asked to discuss their experiences in a follow-up interview with a Fast Company writer for the story. This would be totally voluntary. You do not need to agree to participate in a Fast Company interview to be part of the study.

For More Information

For more information about the study, please contact Christopher Rotolo, Ph.D. at 212-551-1411 or Kerrie Baker, Ph.D. at (610) 606-4666, ext. 3426.

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