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Management Development Questionnaire (MDQ)

Allen P. Cameron

Paper and Pencil
Paper and Pencil
product number: 5574602
Excluding VAT
Item Booklets, Normative Version (5)
product number: 5501203
Excluding VAT
Self-Score Response Sheets, Normative Version (10)
product number: 5501204
Excluding VAT
Profile Sheets, Normative Version (10)
product number: 5501206
Excluding VAT
Feedback Chart (for 'n' and 'i' responses) (10)
product number: 5501207
Excluding VAT
Introductory Leaflet for Test Takers (10)
product number: 5501229
Out of print
Item Booklets, Ipsative Version (5)
product number: 5501233
Excluding VAT
Response Sheets, Ipsative Version (10)
product number: 5501234
Excluding VAT
Profile Sheets, Ipsative Version (10)
product number: 5501236
Excluding VAT


The MDQ is an inventory of management competencies, based on a concept model, which examines 20 key competencies most often encountered in management and work-place settings. It examines 20 competency dimensions across five broad domains:

  • Managing Change
  • Planning and Organising
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Results Orientation
  • Leadership

The MDQ-R is now available - click here for information.

Suitable for

Managers and leaders.

Language Versions


Product Description

The MDQ series consists of the MDQn and MDQi instruments.


MDQn is a normative instrument with 20 competency scales and an impression management scale. It has 168 statements which respondents rate on a 5 point scale ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree.


MDQi measures the same 20dimensions of management competency as MDQn but in a semi-ipsative format based on the approach developed by the Management Research Group (Sawyer and Kabacoff, 1997). Test takers are presented with two competency statements. First, they have to decide which competency they perform more effectively and to indicate whether that competency is a either a high or low priority for development. Second, they have to indicate whether the competency they perform less effectively is also an area for development. There are 80 pairs of statements.

The MDQ instruments have a wide range of potential applications:

  • Competency-based development. As the MDQ items cover many of the competencies in generic management competency frameworks and company competency frameworks, MDQ scales scores (from all three versions of the instrument) can be used as the basis for a competency-based development interview.
  • Assessment and development centres. The MDQ can be used as one of the assessment methods in a multi-method assessment or development centre. In an assessment centre, MDQn would be the appropriate tool as it is norm-referenced. In a development centre, the MDQi is particularly useful as it generates information about specific competency elements that the test taker identifies as priorities for development.
  • Individual development plans. As an individual's MDQ profile is based on a comparison against a norm group, it is a simple and effective method of helping managers benchmark themselves against other managers. MDQn comes with a range of norms groups including norms for top managers. The MDQn profile indicates the frequency with which different competencies are demonstrated and provides a framework for self-development activities. Chapter 2 covers the relative advantages /disadvantages of using normative or ipsative forms for development.
  • Coaching and counselling. Information from the profiles from all three versions of the MDQ provides a sound basis for one-to-one coaching and counselling.
  • Teamworking. MDQn scores from a group of individuals can be used to profile a team's potential strengths and weaknesses and gear team development activities to the acquisition of particular knowledge and skills. At the company level, the same approach can be used to identify corporate training and development priorities.

Qualification level required:
Test User Occupational: Personality, or equivalent. Please see our Test User Qualifications page for guidance


The scale reliability estimates for MDQn range from 0.60 to 0.78 with a median of 0.71. For MDQi they range from 0.72 to 0.86 with a median of 0.81. The calculation for MDQi is based on pre-ipsatization development data because a standard reliability calculation is inappropriate for this type of forced-choice format.


The standardisation norm group for the MDQn is based on 6,118 respondents who completed the questionnaire over the Internet.


Untimed (approx 25 minutes)


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