Print Сite this

Reflecting on Types and Sources of Data in Psychology


The selected research question is: To what extent does the leadership style of a leader or executive impact the workplace culture and attitudes of employees? This question is based on the ever-evolving field of leadership psychology and workplace social relations which encompass many elements of sociology. The question in itself is not new or revolutionary, being explored in various literature and media. There was some familiarity with the topic, which helped to draw the connections in the research question between leadership and employees.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Notably, the question underwent some changes. Originally, the question was posed as: How does a leader’s behavior affect the well-being of employees? However, it was simplistic and did not identify variables accurately. Exploring the topic deeper, it became evident that a leader’s behavior in the workplace is a reflection of their leadership style – a well-established psychological assessment of the person’s approach to management and relations with employees. Meanwhile, employee well-being is not exactly the correct wording as well, since well-being can be influenced by a large number of internal and external factors. Instead, the focus was shifted towards the workplace environment in general and employees attitudes in it, which would encompass their emotions, interactions, motivations, and other critical aspects that directly influence performance in the workplace – those that are directly impacted by leadership styles (Asrar-ul-Haq & Kuchinke, 2016). These are improvements because there is greater clarity and more specific variables, particularly from a social science perspective, that can be studied. Therefore, the data creation and collection methods utilized may be more accurate and effective in answering the proposed inquiry.

The manner that this question was approached was less of a problem needing a solution but more of a contribution of knowledge to a rapidly developing field (Personal Reflection 2020: Tutorial week 4). Qualities of leadership are critically important in modern workplaces that are diverse, more publicly transparent, and have to navigate complex modern environments in virtually every sector of the economy. The research question is seen as something that could benefit practitioners in social psychology as more and more workplaces are using evidence-based and expert recommendations in molding leaders and work environments based on the factors of leadership styles. It is a highly practical approach that seeks to implement real-world applications rather than just theoretical exploration of behaviors and motivations in a workplace environment.

Reflecting on Data Needed

The purpose to the research question aims to explore the effects of leadership styles on workplace environment and employee attitudes. The rationale is that modern leaders are encouraged to change leadership styles to that most beneficial for their company environment and employee reception. It is necessary to determine the attitudes and perceptions that are seen in employees as a response to the leadership styles. Therefore, the primary element being observed are people’s attitudes, which can encompass experiences, feelings, and perceptions. This is a socially constructed element that is primarily subjective (Phelan, 2020: week 6, slide 9). The research is looking for data to measure the attitudes in a variety of leadership and workplace environments, and this data will be used to draw parallels between the impact of leadership style on these attitudes.

As mentioned, attitude is a complex aspect to inherently measure. Attitude is a psychological construct which defines the way that an individual thinks or feels about someone or something. It is a mental and emotional state which also characterizes a person in a way. Attitude is an acquired state of mind based largely off experiences, combined with personal thoughts, feelings, and emotions (Perloff, 2016). Attitudes take on various forms, including implicit and explicit. However, the concept in itself is highly subjective due to the individual nature of each human being and their experiences, either in a moment or an environment, or overall character. Nevertheless, objectively, it can be argued that some attitudes as behavioral responses are universal for human beings if they are evaluative facts and independent of beliefs (Michalos, 2014). In the context of the research question, if a leader is abusive and authoritarian, it is likely that employee attitudes will be negative and workplace environment is based on fear. However, while leadership styles are largely objectively defined based on psychological characteristic, attitudes are subjective because of individual variety and degrees of emotional impact or perceptions.

Selecting Methods of Data Creation

For this research, it would be beneficial to utilize a sequential mixed methods design, combining questionnaire surveys with semi-structured interviews as a follow up. Instead of two independent data collection methods, the approach combine the two types of data strategically to create broader insight and avoid missing any potential links, which can improve validity of findings (Bowen, Rose, & Pilkington, 2017).

Initially, questionnaire surveys would be distributed to participants which will utilize a 5-point Likert scale on responses to gauge the individual’s attitude. The survey would be split into several parts addressing elements such as perceptions of their manager/leader, workplace environment, and their own attitudes towards the leadership style applied in the workplace. The benefits to a survey is that they provide wide inclusive coverage of the topic, providing a general overview with significant information at a specific point in time (Denscombe, 2014). The strength of this method is that it provides an opportunity for empirical quantitative research in a highly subjective topic. Surveys allow to classify and quantify the responses, which then help identify potential patterns and links in the data. However, at the same time, this may serve as a limitation since surveys have difficulty encompassing complex issues or feelings and attitudes. Therefore, it will capture elements of opinion, preference, or satisfaction, but may struggle with complex elements of attitudes impacted by another complex aspect of behavior. Nevertheless, surveys are a simple but effective method of data collection on a large scale, requiring few costs and skills. Since surveys are straightforward, there no ethical considerations beyond basic consent to participate and anonymity of data during publication.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

The nature of the sequential mixed methods design is that it allows for examination and potentially full analysis of survey data before transitioning to semi-structured interviews. The purpose of this secondary data creation methods is to add more context and detail towards findings from the surveys. Although the surveys do utilize a Likert scale which are generally beneficial at capturing attitudes, unscripted answers during interviews allow the researcher to go in-depth. Interviews ask different types of questions from surveys. While interviews also attempt to generalize the data, they are aimed at understanding the answer rather than acquiring it (Vogt et al., 2017). The strengths of the method are the characteristics of data that will be collected, as mentioned earlier, the nuanced details, feelings, and background to specific attitudes which will help to draw conclusions. However, there are extensive limitations to interviews, including the fact that they are extremely time consuming; therefore, also costly due to potential resources being used. In order to conduct semi-structured research interviews competently, one needs preparation and has to have particular skills to direct the conversation. There are also a number of ethical elements to consider since interviews are highly personal. There has to be explicit consent and understanding from the interviewee and researchers must ensure anonymity of the subjects, more so than many other research methods because interviews relay personal opinions and emotions while also oftentimes being recorded for archival purposes.

Identifying Existing Sources of Data

Since this topic is by no means new and the methods of data creation discussed earlier are intrusive, with surveys and interviews in workplaces – it would be the most ethical to make use of existing data that likely exists with these variables. Due to a high variety of workplaces alongside the time and cost it would take to evaluate a workplace – first determining leadership style and then surveying the employees – it would be practical to utilize, or at the very least examine existing data to overcome various limitations in own data creation for this research inquiry (Phelan, 2020: week 8, slide 15).

One source of existing data is the Study of Australian Leadership (SAL), a national project survey conducted by the University of Melbourne, targeted at providing a comprehensive overview of leadership in Australian organizations. As one of its key findings, the research identifies that leadership management influences employee attitudes and behaviors, thus translating to the workplace environment and performance (Gahan, 2016). The organization was directly targeting on researching a variety of aspects regarding leadership in workplaces, including the relationship between the variables of leadership styles and employee attitudes which are the basis of this paper’s research question. Therefore, they are likely to have necessary secondary data to support the inquiry. A major strength to this source of data is that it was gathered by a large research group at the University of Melbourne, a leading research institution. It can be assumed that significant measures towards scientific rigor, data collection, and ethics were undertaken, making the data both valid and comprehensive. A limitation to the data, that the researches themselves note, is that this research was not following a longitudinal design that can enable assessment of causality. Therefore, the results need to be interpreted with this in mind, depending on the data set.

The second source of data to consider is the research database Emerald Insight, a publication archive of books and journals that is known for its collection of industry-related research including in management, business, managerial psychology, and others. The database has numerous peer-reviewed studies on the selected topic from various countries across countless industries. Studies from this database will provide a rich source of secondary data, potentially both qualitative and quantitative (Emerald Insight, n.d.). The strengths of this source are peer-reviewed studies, wide variety of material to find data on any potential direction the research may take, and ease of search through various tools and parameters. The limitation to such a source is that it may prevent the research inquiry discussed in this paper to take on a more focused direction. With such a wide availability of data, it may be difficult to narrow the search as well as decide which data is ultimately useful to answering the research question.


Asrar-ul-Haq, M., & Kuchinke, K. P. (2016). Impact of leadership styles on employees’ attitude towards their leader and performance: Empirical evidence from Pakistani banks. Future Business Journal, 2(1), 54–64. Web.

Bowen, P., Rose, R., & Pilikington, A. (2017). Mixed methods- Theory and practice. sequential, explanatory approach. International Journal of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods, 5(2), 10-27.

Denscombe, M. (2014). The good research guide for small-scale social research projects (5th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

We will write a custom
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

Gahan, P., Adamovic, M., Bevitt, A., Harley, B., Healy, J., Olsen, J.E., & Theilacker, M. (2016). Leadership at work: Do Australian leaders have what it takes? Melbourne: Centre for Workplace Leadership, University of Melbourne. Web.

Emerald Insight. (2020). Search results – Leadership style and employee attitude. Web.

Michalos, A. C. (Ed.). (2014). Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer. Web.

Perloff, R. M. (2016). The dynamics of persuasion: Communication and attitudes in the twenty-first century. Routledge.

Personal Reflection. (2020). Tutorial week 4.

Phelan. (2020). Week 6 podcast: Pursuing answers to our questions.

Phelan. (2020). Week 8 podcast: Make use of existing data.

Vogt, P.W., Gardner, D.C., & Haeffele, L. M. (2017). When to use what research design. Guilford Publications.

Need a
100% original paper
written from scratch

by professional
specifically for you?
308 certified writers online
Learn More

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2022, April 18). Reflecting on Types and Sources of Data in Psychology. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, April 18). Reflecting on Types and Sources of Data in Psychology.

Work Cited

"Reflecting on Types and Sources of Data in Psychology." StudyCorgi, 18 Apr. 2022,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Reflecting on Types and Sources of Data in Psychology." April 18, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Reflecting on Types and Sources of Data in Psychology." April 18, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Reflecting on Types and Sources of Data in Psychology." April 18, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Reflecting on Types and Sources of Data in Psychology'. 18 April.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.