Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)

The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) is a 30 item questionnaire containing five subscales for each of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. Each subscale contains six questions, with a 10-point Likert response scale. The Leadership Practices Inventory exists in a “Self” and “Observer” version and takes approximately 10-20 minutes to complete.

In the Leadership Practices Inventory, Leaders complete the Self, rating themselves on the frequency with which they think they engage in each of the thirty behaviors. Five to ten other people—typically selected by the leaders—complete the Observer questionnaire, rating the leaders on the frequency with which they think they engage in each behavior. Respondents can indicate their relationship to the leader—manager, co-worker or peer, direct report, or other observer—but, with the exception of the leader’s manager, all the observers’ feedback is anonymous. The Leadership Practices Inventory is available in paper and online form.

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James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner


Items in the LPI are highly correlated within each scale and test-retest reliability is high.  Internal reliability, as measured by Cronbach’s Alpha, is strong, with all scales above the .75 level.  Empirical tests of differences between leaders (using the Leadership Practices Inventory-Self form) and their constituents (using the Observer form) reveal no statistically significant differences (at the .001 level of probability) between these two groups on Challenging and Modeling.  While statistically significant, the mean differences between these two groups on Inspiring, Enabling, and Encouraging have little practical significance, except to note that leaders view themselves as engaging slightly less in Inspiring and Encouraging, and slightly more in Enabling, than do their constituents.

A five-factor solution for the Leadership Practices Inventory (both the Self and Observer versions) was generated by a factor analysis, using principal component analysis with varimax rotation and Kaiser normalization. While some statements loaded on more than one factor, their highest loading was generally with the other statements conceptualized as comprising that factor (scale). These results provide continued empirical support for these various leadership behaviors to be conceptualized within five practices (challenging, inspiring, enabling, modeling, and encouraging).


Scores on the Leadership Practices Inventory relate significantly to other measures of leadership.

Where to Purchase

The Leadership Challenge

Wiley & Sons

LPI Online

Administration, Analysis and Reporting

Statistics Solutions consists of a team of professional methodologists and statisticians that can assist the student or professional researcher in administering the survey instrument, collecting the data, conducting the analyses and explaining the results.

For additional information on these services, click here.

Dissertations Using the Leadership Practices Inventory

Below is a list of dissertations using the LPI.  The full versions of these dissertations can be found on ProQuest.
Wicker, T. L. (2008). Self-report of nursing leadership practice after completion of training. The University of Arizona).

Bieber, V. H. (2003). Leadership practices of veterans health administration nurse executives: An exploration of current practices and professional development needs. East Tennessee State University).

Porter-OGrady, T. (2007). Comparative nurse executive leadership practices in united states magnet and non-magnet hospitals. University of Phoenix).

Ferrara, L. R. (2008). Relationship of work experience to clinical and leadership competence of advanced practice nursing students. University of Phoenix).

Diaz, A. L. (2008). Leadership training and emotional intelligence in school nurses. University of Nevada, Las Vegas).

Vitello-Cicciu, J. (2001). Leadership practices and emotional intelligence of nursing leaders. Fielding Graduate Institute).


Posner, B. Z., and Kouzes, J. M. (1988). Development and validation of the Leadership Practices Inventory. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 1988, 48(2), 483-496.

Posner, B. Z., and Kouzes, J. M. (1990). Leadership practices: An alternative to the psychological perspective. In K. Clark & M. Clark (Eds.), Measures of Leadership. W. Orange, NJ: Leadership Library of America. Measures of LeadershipCooking, Food & Wine Books)

Posner, B. Z., and Kouzes, J. M. (1993). Psychometric properties of the Leadership Practices Inventory, updated. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53(1), 191-199.

Posner, B. Z., and Kouzes, J. M. (1995). An extension of the Leadership Practices Inventory to individual contributors. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 54(4), 959-966.

Posner, B. Z., and Kouzes, J. M. (2000). Psychometric properties of the Leadership Practices Inventory. Retrieved May 19, 2009, from http://media.wiley.com/assets/463/73/lc_jb_psychometric_properti.pdf

Posner, B. Z., and Kouzes, J. M. (2002). The Leadership Practices Inventory: Theory and evidence behind the five practices of exemplary leaders. Retrieved May 19, 2009 from http://media.wiley.com/assets/463/74/lc_jb_appendix.pdf

Posner, B. Z. (2008). LPI data analysis. Retrieved May 19, 2009 from http://media.wiley.com/assets/1554/74/LPIDataAnalysisSEP08.pdf