Self-other rating agreement in leadership: A review

By John W. Fleenor, Phillip W. Braddy
Center for Creative Leadership

James W. Smither
La Salle University

Leanne E. Atwater, Rachel E. Strum
University of Houston


This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on self–other rating agreement (SOA) related to leadership in the workplace, focusing primarily on research published between 1997 (the year of Atwater & Yammarino’s seminal paper on SOA) and the present. Much of the current interest in SOA derives from its purported relationships with self-awareness and leader effectiveness. The literature, however, has used a variety of metrics to assess SOA, resulting in discrepancies between findings across studies. As multi-rater (360-degree; multisource) feedback instruments continue to be widely used as a measure of leadership in organizations, it is important that we more clearly understand the relationships between SOA and its predictors and outcomes. To this end, in this article, we review (a) models of agreement, (b) factors affecting self-ratings and the congruence between self–others’ ratings, (c) factors affecting others’ ratings, (d) correlates of agreement, and (e) measurement issues and data analytic techniques. We conclude with discussions of practitioner issues and directions for future research.


Fleenor, J. W., Smither, J. W., Atwater, L. E., Braddy, P. W., & Strum, R. E. (2010). Self-other rating agreement in leadership: A review. Leadership Quarterly 21(6), 1005-1034.


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