Year Published: 2015
Description: The aims of this research were to develop and test a scale used to measure leadership in wildland firefighting using two samples of USA wildland firefighters. The first collection of data occurred in the spring and early summer and consisted of an online survey. The second set of data was collected towards late summer and early fall (autumn). The second set of data was collected via hard-copy surveys that were mailed in by respondents who were recruited via email and in person at large wildland fires. Through confirmatory factor analyses, a three-factor, higher-order, multidimensional structure of leadership in wildland fire was supported. The Crewmember Perceived Leadership Scale consists of perceptions of competent decision-making, personal genuineness and integrity of supervisors as seen by their subordinates. Initial evidence of reliability and validity was supported during the first study of this research. Results from Study 1 indicate that higher rankings of fire leaders by their crewmembers was related to higher worker engagement and job satisfaction. The second study included an additional five items to rate fire leaders; the structure of the three leadership components was again supported. Implications for leadership development in wildland fire, future research and practice are discussed.