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The bottom line: Leadership skills strongly influence “whole country” productivity. Presented by Max Choi & Alan Howard.

Leadership skills at the DOP Conference Ref: 2016 Standard Paper – Topic: Psychological Assessment at Work.


The conference theme is ‘Thriving at Work’. This paper outlines two key principles that occupational psychologists can apply to help organisations thrive:

1. Present evidence-based practice
2. Help focus on improving leadership – as organisations can only thrive with quality leadership

This paper presents our research on direct evidence of the difference in productivity that good leadership and management skills make at “country macroeconomic” level.

Leadership and Management skills at country level were obtained via SJTs adapted for international use. Based on results from over 117,000 leaders and managers from 32 countries, the “average leadership or management” score for a country was significantly correlated with its GDP per Capita or Employee (r=0.72, n=24 countries for leaders and r=0.60, n=27 countries for managers). In regression analyses, management and leadership skills uniquely influenced 10 – 17.5% of GDP per Capita.