Command Performance: New Technology for Assessing Direct Leadership Abilities

Period of Performance: 10/01/2002 - 09/30/2004

$500K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Knowledge Analysis Technologies, LLC
4940 Pearl East Circle, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Yale University
PO Box 208047
New Haven, CT 06520
Institution POC

Abstract

To select and develop effective leaders, we need to know the personal attributes and experiences that mold them. The Army has collected extensive background information on USMA '98 cadets (BOLDS), who are nearing their final year of mandatory service. In Phase 1 we developed new leadership measures of higher order competencies--emotional maturity, strategic, tactical, and managerial tacit knowledge. The battery uses open-ended responses to: tactical military scenarios (TLAC), extended Tacit Knowledge of Military Knowledge case studies, and components of Kegan's cognitive-emotional development interviews. All measures can be assessed and categorized using Latent Semantic Analysis, a machine learning technology that understands text. In Phase 2 the Command Performance battery will be related to predictors in the BOLDS background data and to performance in real world settings. In Phase 2 we propose collecting: (1) Command Performance data over the Internet for a subset of the USMA class of '98, (2) objective measures of leadership, such as NTC performance, and (3) subjective measures, such as Officer Evaluation Reports, 360 feedback. Using structural equation modeling and other data mining techniques, we will find predictive background variables of leadership performance and relate them to current performance. When fully developed, Command Performance will be offered by Knowledge Analysis Technologies directly to the Army as an ADL enabled leadership assessment and prediction technology. It will also be suitable for adaptation for use in other DoD branches, corporate leadership training, and educational applications such as business and public administration. The latter commercial applications will be developed and marketed by joint ventures between Knowledge Analysis Technologies and one or more of the distance education and corporate training organizations with whom we have now or will develop arrangements. The partner's and their clients knowledge of content will be used to adapt the system, and the partner's market reach to commercialize it profitably and for wide social benefit. The LSA-based data mining and analysis techniques for personnel and student records that we develop may also find commercial application. Finally, Command Performance, coming originally in large part from an environment intended for training rather than assessment as such, will be adapted for that use as well and commercialized through the same channels.