Perceived Leader Integrity Scale

Overview & History

The PLIS is 360 leadership assessment instrument for assessing impressions of the integrity, ethics, and destructive behaviors of managers and leaders. It was originally developed as a research tool by Craig and Gustafson in 1995. The PLIS was later modified to facilitate upward developmental feedback and published in The Leadership Quarterly in 1998. Since that time, the PLIS has been augmented to permit true multi-source assessment via observers with diverse relationships to the focal leader, translated into Spanish and Mandarin, and used in scores of research studies and organizational assessments all over the world.

The PLIS was developed by industrial-organizational psychologists at Virginia Tech and North Carolina State University, using state-of-the-art psychometric techniques, including item response theory and confirmatory factor analysis. The 40-item version demonstrates a unidimensional factor structure, reflecting perceivers' overall impression of a leader's ethical integrity, Cronbach's alpha internal consistency estimates greater than .95, and appropriate patterns of convergent and discriminant validity relative to other variables. For developmental feedback purposes, the instrument can be interpreted in terms of multiple facets of the leader's reputation for integrity. Short-forms with as few as 8 items that correlate with the full version at greater than .90 are also available.

Terms of Use

Consistent with its original mission as a tool to stimulate and facilitate scientific research on destructive leadership, the PLIS may be freely used for noncommercial research purposes. License fees for commercial applications are negotiated on a case by case basis.

To use the PLIS in your research or leadership development work, please contact S. Bartholomew Craig, Ph.D. (

Selected PLIS-related Publications

(please send your PLIS articles to have them listed here)

Baker, R. & Craig, S.B. (2006). When Actions Speak Louder Than Words: The Relative Importance of Leader Behaviors in Predicting Global Impressions of Integrity.

Datta, A. (2005). Measurement Equivalence of the English and Spanish Versions of the Perceived Leader Integrity Scale.

Parry, K.W. & Proctor-Thomson, S.B. (2002). Perceived Integrity of Transformational Leaders in Organisational Settings. Journal of Business Ethics, 35, 75-96.

Craig, S.B. & Gustafson, S.B. (1998). Perceived Leader Integrity Scale: An Instrument for Assessing Employee Perceptions of Leader Integrity. The Leadership Quarterly, 9, 127-145.