Examining Leadership Competencies of First-Year Undergraduates‎: The ‎‎Mediation and ‎Moderation Effects of Gender and Academic Disciplines

Mohammed S. Alkathiri, Nasser ‎ S. Alrayes, Ahmed R. Khatiry


This investigation aims to measure the leadership skills level among Saudi undergraduates. It ‎addresses measuring four main skills‎ as indicators for leadership competencies: communication ‎and personal behavior, learning and reasoning, strategic planning and civic ‎responsibility, and ‎self-awareness and interpersonal interaction. The study endeavors to assess the leadership ‎capabilities of first-year college students at a Saudi university ‎through an examination of ‎various skills. While also investigating two mediation effects of these skills and two moderating ‎impacts of gender and academic discipline. We perform structural equation modeling on a ‎dataset comprising 5,992 responses collected from surveyed students. The key findings indicate ‎a high level of leadership skills among first-year Saudi undergraduate students. The study ‎provides support for the mediating effects of personal attributes, such as communication, ‎personal behavior, self-awareness, and interpersonal interaction, on other leadership skills. The ‎moderating role of study type has been supported in the relationship between learning ‎and ‎reasoning skills and strategic planning and civic responsibility. However, the controlling role of ‎gender has been rejected. Research emphasizes integrating leadership skills in undergraduate ‎education, addressing demographic factors. Insights guide policymakers to support social ‎studies students and low achievers through systematic educational methods and tailored ‎programs for faculty-student engagement.‎


First-year students; ‎higher education; leadership skills; undergraduates’ competencies

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