Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ)

The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) evaluates three different leadership styles: Transformational, Transactional, and Passive-Avoidant.  It allows individuals to measure how they perceive themselves with regard to specific leadership behaviors (using the Leader/Self form), but the heart of the MLQ comes in the rater/other feedback that is enabled with the Rater form.  The MLQ was designed with the 360-degree feedback method.

Participants are asked to respond to 45 items in the MLQ 5x-Short (the current, classic version) using a 5-point behavioral scale (“Not at all” to “Frequently if not always”). Approximately 15 minutes is required for completion.

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Bruce J. Avolio & Bernard M. Bass

Reliability and Validity

The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire is a well-established instrument in the measure of Transformational Leadership as well as being extensively researched and validated.  Avolio and Bass’s MLQ manual shows strong evidence for validity; the MLQ has been used in thousands of research programs, doctoral dissertations, and master’s theses, along with several constructive outcomes for transformational leadership. Construct validity is also thoroughly explained with factor analyses which resulted in a six-factor model for the MLQ.  In addition, a study conducted by Antonakis, supported the nine-factor leadership model and its stability in homogeneous situations.  Reliability scores for the MLQ subscales ranged from moderate to good.

Learn more about the MLQ or to Purchase

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About Mind Garden, Inc.

Mind Garden is an independent psychological publishing company of leadership, coping, anxiety and many other assessments and developmental materials.  Since 1994, Mind Garden has sought to preserve and grow important psychological assessments.  Mind Garden has an array of services related to online access and scoring of instruments.

Mind Garden is unique in providing a rapid response to purchase of permission to reproduce their products, via PDF. This is ideal for Ph.D. candidates and researchers who “need it now”, as well as those who may wish to use an instrument online with other instruments or questions.  Paper licenses are also available, providing one copy with permission to reproduce. Mind Garden provides review copies of instruments and scoring in the product manual so that you do not need to order additional components to understand an instrument.

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 Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire

Below is a list of dissertations that use the MLQ.  The full versions of these dissertations can be found on ProQuest.

Fiery, B. M. (2008). Contextual influences affecting transformational leadership in northwest virginia multiple nonprofit hospital systems. University of Phoenix).

Long, J. D. (2004). Factors that influence nurse attrition: An analysis of the relationship between supervisor leadership style and subordinate job satisfaction. Capella University).

Ohman, K. A. (1997). Leadership behavior and role preparation of first-line nurse managers in critical care. University of Minnesota).

Hahn, J. A. (2004). The behavioral characteristics of nursing leadership associated with effective coalition building and work among the colleagues in caring coalitions. George Mason University).

Omer, T. Y. (2005). Leadership style of nurse managers at the saudi national guard hospitals. George Mason University).

King, K. C. (1994). Transformational leadership in school of nursing deans: Perceived effectiveness, faculty satisfaction, and faculty willingness to put forth extra effort. Spalding University)


Antonakis, J., Avolio, B., & Sivasubramaniam, N. (2003). Context and leadership: An examination of the nine-factor full-range leadership theory using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Leadership Quarterly, 14, 261-295.

Avolio, B., & Bass, B. (1991). The full-range of leadership development. Binghamton, NY: Center for Leadership Studies. Full Range Leadership DevelopmentLeadership Books)

Bass, B. M.  (1990).  From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, 18, 19-31.

Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press. ViewSocial Science Books)

Bass, B. M. & Aviolo, B. J. (1990b).  Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire.  Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Fleenor, John W.  Review of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire.  Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC.

Hoffman, E. (2002). Psychological testing at work. New York: McGraw Hill. ViewHuman Resources & Personnel Management Books)

Pittenger, D. J. (2001). . In B. S. Plake & J. C. Impara (Eds.), The fourteenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 806-808). Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.