Management Leadership Practices Inventory (MLPI)


A manager's behaviors are measured by the Management-Leadership Practices Inventory (MLPI), a survey containing 85 simple, behaviorally-based items. The MLPI takes less than 15 minutes to complete. Identical inventories are done by: the manager; his/her boss; and, anonymously, by his/her employees and/or peers.

Once MLPI data is collected, a comprehensive computer profile is generated for feedback to the manager. Results are compared to general norms or to the norms for the manager's organization.

The MLPI is available in two formats, paper/pencil and online.

·  Qualifying HR, OD, Training and Mental Health Professionals may obtain a FREE SAMPLE ASSESSMENT of the MLPI. For more information please Contact Us


The MLPI has been designed to give objective feedback about behavior. It measures how well a manager performs on twenty key factors. These factors can be grouped into three categories: Management Practices, Interpersonal Style, and Leadership Practices.


There are nine management practices measured by the MLPI. They are basic practices that are commonly recognized as essential to effective management and supervision of people in the workplace. They are:

Goal Setting is the manager's ability to clearly communicate individual and group goals.

Planning is the manager's ability to organize and plan the work of the unit to ensure smooth functioning.

Technical Expertise is the general level of technical competence the manager demonstrates.

Performance Standards indicates whether the manager sets high yet realistic standards of performance and inspires people to do their best.

Coaching indicates whether the manager actively coaches or otherwise provides employees with the skills relevant to good performance.

Evaluating Performance indicates the frequency and quality of feedback that the manager gives to his/her employees.

Facilitating Change shows how well the manager keeps people informed of changes that are occurring in the workplace.

Delegation indicates the level to which the manager permits individuals to take responsibility and direct their own activities.

Recognition indicates whether the manager rewards individuals for performance, and, if so, whether rewards are given in a timely manner.


There are three interpersonal styles measured by the MLPI. These styles affect how both the management and leadership practices are implemented on a daily basis. They are:

Approachable shows whether the manager is easy to talk to, friendly and listens to employees.

Directive indicates whether the manager supervises employees closely and tries to exercise tight control over the workers' activities.

Participative reflects the level of involvement and input the manager seeks from employees.


There are eight leadership practices measured by the MLPI. They are the practices that take a manager beyond basic supervision of his/her people. They are:

Strategy shows the extent to which the manager understands and communicates the long-term goals and future direction of the unit or organization.

Communication indicates the level of written and verbal skills demonstrated by the manager.

Teamwork indicates how well the manager promotes cooperation within the work group.

Empowering Employees shows if the manager is instilling confidence in his/her employees and providing them with the resources to do their work.

Trust is the extent to which the manager promotes a climate of trust in the work group.

Resourcefulness indicates whether the manager knows how to get things done and can find the resources to accomplish goals.

Self Confidence shows the manager's self assurance and positive attitude.

Decisiveness indicates whether the manager tackles problems immediately and is willing to intervene in work problems.


The MLPI helps determine strengths and risk areas (scores that fall below the normal range) in a person's management and leadership practices. Interpretation of results is provided by in-house or external consultants. During and after the feedback of results, managers are assisted with the development of specific individual action plans. The plans, which are typically reviewed with superiors, range from self-initiated activities to classroom training. The Management-Leadership Practices Inventory: Action Plan Guide (a self-help workbook) is often used as support material.

The MLPI can provide information at the beginning of management and leadership training courses. The MLPI results allow participants to focus efforts on appropriate skill development throughout training.

The MLPI can be used to measure change in management and leadership practices as a result of training and development efforts.

The MLPI can be administered to all management level personnel within an organization or unit. Both individual managers and the entire organization can be analyzed. Strategies for action can be developed from survey results, and progress can be monitored through follow-up inventories.

Since the MLPI is a valid measure of group effectiveness, many projects will combine individual development with organizational development. Composite results of MLPI scores by work unit, function, and management level provide the data for coordinated projects and organizational change strategies.


The MLPI was developed over a two-year period using sound test design procedures. It is based on feedback from respondents and factor analysis of behaviorally-based statements. The emphasis throughout has been on the development of a valid, reliable inventory that is operational in nature. It is currently used by many organizations. It has been used since 1987.


MULTI-PURPOSE, for individual and group assessments.
MULTI-LEVEL, data is gathered from self, superior, employees and/or peers.
OPERATIONAL, results point to specific actions.
COST-EFFECTIVE, management and leadership measured in one inventory.
SKILL-ORIENTED, not based on personality traits.
NORM-BASED, results can be compared to general or in-house norms.
RELIABLE AND VALID, consistent measures of actual behavior.

To learn more, contact Pfaff and Associates at or call 269-370-0083.