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Sample Dissertations

Dr. Danielle Lombard-Sims, 2018

Exploring Antecedence of Organizational Success for Bicultural Female Leaders

Global leadership research arose out of a need for organizations to develop individuals who can successfully manage people, markets and strategies globally (Mendenhall, et al., 2013).  As the field is relatively new, there is gap in global leadership literature in understanding the antecedents of success of global leaders, and specifically bicultural global female leaders, in multi-cultural organizational environments.  In addition, views from a power dynamic of critical theory has not been fully explored.

As a result of this gap in the literature, this dissertation study explored the intersectionality of success, gender and biculturalism to understand, through the voice and lived experiences of bicultural female leaders, how they assign meaning to the attainment of organizational success in global healthcare leadership positions in order to encourage organizational change. Utilizing the phenomenological van Kaam 8-step method of data analysis (Moustakas, 1994), this study identified five themes related to how global leadership competencies, the meaning of success, and organizational influencers impact bicultural female global leader success.  The five themes identified include (a) successful global leadership organizational competencies (b) meaning of success (c) intersection of gender and biculturalism on organizational success (d) organizational facilitators of success for bicultural global female leaders and (e) organizational inhibitors of success that require change.  This study added unique contributions in understanding (a) the shared meaning of success for bicultural global female leaders across various cultural groups as told through their voice, (b) how gender and biculturalism intersect to inform their experience as global leaders, specifically in empowering them to overcome historical biases that exist in organizations, and (c) actions organizations can do to help more bicultural women become global leaders.  In addition to the unique contributions, findings related to successful global competencies, transformational leadership characteristics, and female leaders’ role in assisting with equal opportunities correspond with empirical and theoretical research on the success of global bicultural female leaders.

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Dr. Jehu Chong, 2018

Workplace Longevity and The Lived Experiences of Senior Leaders’ Perceptions of Millennial Job Satisfaction: A Multigenerational Study of the Dutch Caribbean Financial Sector

The topic of workplace longevity includes a vast area of scholarly writing relating to the themes of organizational success, job satisfaction, work commitment, effective managerial leadership, employee engagement, workforce-retention strategies, and cultural influences on work habits. The focus of this exploration is to discover how job satisfaction impacts the tenure of senior leaders and to uncover the association of emerging trends using a generational perspective that directly derives from senior leaders’ lived experiences. The objective was to solicit responses about the concepts affecting employees’ self-identified organizational motives, thus explaining an employees’ realization, awareness, and understanding of the components that factor into their choice of whether to stay or leave a company. Herzberg’s (1978) motivation theory was introduced and applied to this study as the theoretical framework. This theory explored the hygiene factors and motivator factors that cause job satisfaction or job dissatisfaction. Seven themes emerged from this qualitative transcendental phenomenological research study: (a) millennials, (b) training and development, (c) mentality shift, (d) corporate culture, (e) workplace longevity, (f) change and adaptability, and (g) communication. The research study was promulgated upon a global platform and thus includes a discussion of global implications and a new definition of global leadership. Global leaders in the present work climate are charged with managing diverse populations of employees from assorted cultures, with a mixture of mind-sets, and with a comprehensive collection of ideals, beliefs, values, and principles. This research explored global leadership through the lens of innovation and a team-oriented perspective.

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Dr. Mia Johnson, 2017

Resilience and Intercultural Competence: Examining the Relationship in Community College Transformational Leaders

The main purpose of the study was to determine if there was a correlation between resilience and intercultural competence in transformational leaders at Ivy Tech Community College. Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership was used to establish leaders’ transformation leadership qualities; the Connor-Davidson CD-RISC was used to assess leaders’ resilience, and Fantini’s Assessment of Intercultural Competence (YOGA Form) was used to measure leaders’ intercultural competence. The study population included leaders in supervisor roles from two regions within Ivy Tech Community College. The findings of the study indicate there was no significant correlation between resilience and intercultural competence in transformational leaders.

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Kristina Creager
Dr. Kristina Creager, 2017

Emotional intelligence & academic success: A study of academically underprepared students in the second semester

The globalization of higher education and changing demographics of the collegiate classroom necessitate the ability for students to regulate their own feelings, recognize others’ emotions, solve real-world problems, communicate effectively across cultures, build relationships, and ultimately manage stress. This emotional intelligence is especially true in the growing population of academically underprepared students. Through analysis of correlations between emotional intelligence and academic success factors – semester and cumulative GPAs, persistence data, as well as demographic variables, this study closes the gap in the literature focused on this specific student population and contributes to the field of global leadership in practice within higher education. This dissertation argues that emotional intelligence is a critical leadership trait, skill and practice regardless of capacity or field. Likewise, the study persists that emotional intelligence is a skill necessary for academically underprepared students to develop early on in their educational careers and it is an aspect directly correlated to the success of global leaders inside and outside of the university setting.

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Thomas Lawrence
Dr. Thomas Lawrence, 2017

Followership in a Global Context: Examining the Relationship between Chinese National Culture and Follower Role Orientation

Followership is an emergent field of study dedicated to the contributions of followers to the processes and outcomes of leadership. The discipline privileges followers at the center of theory development and acknowledges their central role as causal agents. The study of followership has largely been a phenomenon constrained to the U.S. Thus, the role of national culture remains unexplored. Drawing from Uhl-Bien et al.’s (2014) reversing the lens theory of followership and Hofstede’s (2010) national culture dimensions, this study examined the relationship between national culture and follower role orientation, including the moderating effects of considerate leadership, among Chinese adults living and working throughout mainland China. Using a survey design, data was collected from 178 Chinese workers using three validated instruments. Relationships between the concepts of study were explored using descriptive inferential statistics, including hierarchical linear regression. The findings support Uhl-Bien et al.’s contention that leadership outcomes result from the interactive product of follower behavior, guided by implicit following schema, and the concomitant response by leaders to deliberate influence attempts. Analysis revealed Hofstede’s dimensions of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and collectivism contributed to the development of follower’s underlying role schema and belief in the co-production of leadership. The study also confirmed the fundamental role of context in the development of follower beliefs. Leader consideration acted as a moderator of power distance in a sub-set of the sample (first-level supervisors) and contributed the greatest effect in the predictive model. This dissertation contributes to the field of global leadership by expanding knowledge of followership, testing the validity of followership theory beyond the U.S., and supporting organizational development in culturally heterogeneous contexts.

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Julia Porter
Dr. Julia Porter, 2017

Factors that Support Student Success and Their Perceptions of Success: Lessons from a Scottish University

In this qualitative study, a case study approach was utilized in order to explore the factors that contribute to student success as well as students’ own perceptions of success at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland. Twelve participants were interviewed including seven students who were had passed all of their courses and were on track to graduate and five faculty members that had experience in teaching successful students. This study particularly focuses on trait theory and how the Big Five contribute to student success as well. The study identified the themes that contributed to Scottish student success, which were: (1) the ability to find employment following graduation, (2) support from others, (3) academic achievement, (4) acquiring new skills, and (5) personal dedication to their studies and Abertay University. Additionally, through the analysis of the data and in understanding the themes, it was indicated that the traits most exhibited by those who found success at Abertay University were extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.

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Alicia Wireman
Dr. Alicia Wireman, 2017

International Students and U.S. Faculty in Complex Educational Environments: Exploring the Need for Global Leadership in the Classroom. A Case Study

“Global leadership scholars have attempted to understand global leadership in a variety of contexts. However, the complex environment of the classroom in higher education is an area that has not been explored. Classrooms in higher education are becoming more complex due to their complexity and uncertain nature, thus creating situations where global leadership is necessary. The purpose of this case study was to determine a need for global leadership in the classroom by exploring perceptions of instructors’ leadership behaviors and communication apprehension in the complex classroom. The study is an exploratory embedded single-case of instructors’ communication apprehension and leadership behaviors at a private institution of higher education. Data collection included institutional documents, surveys, and focus groups. The case’s data included an analysis of institutional documents as well as a survey with faculty regarding their communication apprehension and leadership behaviors when interacting with international students in the complex classroom. The survey used the Personal Report of Intercultural Communication Apprehension (PRICA) and the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ) to examine instructors’ communication apprehension and leadership behaviors when interacting with international students in the classroom. Then, a follow-up focus group with faculty was used to understand their survey responses. Finally, the case’s data collection included a focus group with international students, which aimed to explore their perceptions of instructors’ communication apprehension and leadership behaviors. The findings of the study (a) indicated leadership behaviors that are important for instructors in higher education, (b) communicated international students’ needs for instructors’ leadership behaviors, and (c) focused on the need to train and develop instructors to be global leaders.”

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Charles Dunn
Dr. Charles Dunn, 2016

The Real Deal: Exploring the Lived Experiences of Authentic Global Leaders within International Cooperative Organizations

The purpose of the current phenomenological study was to understand the developmental experiences of authentic leaders by documenting their own stories of how they view their growth into a successful global leader. The study used three overarching research questions: (1) How do leaders within international cooperatives describe their lived experiences that contributed to their development into successful and authentic global leaders? (2) How do cooperative leaders explain how they apply/use the principle of stewardship on a daily basis? (3) What experiences are described as challenges in the application of authentic leadership? Using these overarching questions as a guide, the current study posed interview questions that explore participants’ experiences in developing into an authentic leader. The study also explored how operating in a global environment has influenced their ability to be authentic in their leadership. Additionally, interview questions explored the context of authentic leadership and global leadership within cooperative organizations and how the role of being a steward for the organization influences their leadership style.

The theoretical framework for the study was guided by global leadership theory, authentic leadership theory, and stewardship theory. Purposeful sampling and snowball sampling were used to select study participants who are senior leaders within international cooperative organizations. Data was collected through the use of semi-structured interviews, and the interviews were transcribed and then analyzed using NVivo qualitative analysis software. The information collected and subsequent analysis may help future cooperative leaders develop into successful and authentic global leaders, as well as help close the gap in the literature on leadership within international cooperatives. The research findings led to the development of five themes surrounding the phenomenon of developing into an authentic leader within an international cooperative: (1) leading successfully, (2) leading globally, (3) developing authentically, (4) meeting the leadership challenge, and (5) cooperative appeal.

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Stephen Young
Dr. Stephen Young, 2016

Follower Perceptions of Frequent Leadership Rotations: A Sequential Explanatory Study

Current leadership study is well established within the context of developing leaders in the global organization through leadership development initiatives to include leadership rotational programs. Leadership rotational programs are an accepted practice to develop the skills of global leaders. Studies have shown the positive results that these strategies can produce within the global organization and towards the development of global leaders’ skills. Empirical research has focused on the advantages to the leader but has failed to fully identify the potential consequences to the follower within the organization. This study addresses the follower perceptions and feelings towards leadership rotations that are not currently found in current leadership research and literature.

The purpose of this sequential explanatory study was twofold. First, this study aimed to discover the types of followers found in the global organization. Second, and the primary focus of this research was to explore the perceptions of followers when subjected to rotating leadership. This exploration fully identifies the effect of the leadership rotation phenomenon and addresses the research question: How do differing types of followers within complex adaptive systems of a global organization experience frequent leadership rotations?

A two-phase, sequential explanatory design was used to gather the experiences of the organizational follower through a non-experimental survey, semi-structured interviews, and a phenomenological analysis of collected data. Followers were first classified in to one of five follower types. Participants from each follower were then interviewed. An interview protocol was followed and participant responses were analyzed to develop themes related to the phenomenon of rotating leadership.
The outcomes of this study offer four conclusions related to the followers in the global organization and how these individuals perceive rotating leadership. This research advances the current understanding of the relationship between the leader and follower and offers new insight into how the common leadership development practice of rotating leaders within the organization affects both the global organization and the organizational follower.

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Frank Banfill
Dr. Frank Banfill, 2015

Multiple case studies in effective Africa leadership: A study of the leadership behaviors of effective local church pastors in the Africa inland church Tanzania Mara and Ukerewe diocese

This study explores the behaviors of effective local Christian church pastors in Tanzania, East Africa and it addresses gaps in the current knowledge related to African religious leadership, leadership theory in the African context, leadership across African cultures, and African leadership in relationship to followership. A qualitative research method using a multiple case study design was employed to provide an understanding of effective African pastors as local leaders who contribute to African social welfare. Effective pastor leaders with a demonstrated record of numerically growing their churches while also conducting development projects for the betterment of local communities were interviewed, along with focus groups of members from their congregations. Additional data were gathered through observations and by reviewing documents. Results of transformational leadership theory surveys (Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire-MLQ) completed by Tanzanian pastors are also presented. The study found that effective Tanzanian pastors demonstrated behaviors consistent with transformational leadership behaviors, improved the lives of parishioners and community members, and were instrumental in growing the numerical membership and financial base of their churches. The study identified the activities taken by effective pastors when they began their tenures, as well as the ongoing and decision-making/problem resolution activities throughout their tenures.

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Joseph Lestrange
Dr. Joseph Lestrange, 2015

Values Based Leadership 2.0: A Multi Method Study Toward The Development Of A Theoretical Framework For Global Leaders

The continuously expanding and rapid pace of globalization has created a climate of ambiguity, uncertainty and change as businesses struggle to find new paradigms of leadership that can be used cross culturally; mainly because many previously tried and tested approaches such as transactional leadership no longer seem effective in the global context (Robinson & Harvey, 2008). This multi-method research study explored whether or not Values Based Leadership (VBL) is an appropriate leadership framework to assist global leaders in navigating the multiplicity, interdependence, ambiguity and flux of today’s global leadership environment. Based on research gaps discovered during the literature review, this study developed a definitive theoretical framework for VBL in the context of global leadership that distinguishes it from other confused and/or overlapping theories. The methodology consisted of an integrative literature review and subsequent interviews conducted in the phenomenological discipline. Through the process of inductive, thematic analysis; a total of 10 themes emerged based on the participants’ “lived experience.” These themes were: Creates a Positive Organizational Valance by Inspiring Followers and Maintaining Presence, Empowers Others Through Active Follower Engagement, Displays Empathy, Respect & Genuine Caring for Others, Projects Legitimacy by Building Relationships on Trust, Encourages a Learning Organization, Possesses Strong Character, Develops a Strategic Vision & Focuses Resources Accordingly, Strives for Organizational Excellence, Demonstrates Humility & Stewardship, and Promotes Transparency by Effectively Communicating with Followers. This new VBL framework provides insight into universally endorsed leadership values held by today’s global leaders operating across multiple world cultures and contexts. If developed further, the research suggests that this framework could provide a strong foundation to assist global leaders in navigating the multiplicity, interdependence, ambiguity and flux found it today’s modern global business environment.

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Lisa Kindred
Dr. Lisa Kindred, 2015

Leadership Fit as a Condition for Meaningful Work: A Study of Iraqi-Born Employees

In this qualitative study a phenomenological approach was utilized to explore the experiences and perceptions of meaningful work for Iraqi refugees in South Bend, Indiana. The central research question examined how the participants constructed meaningful work. This study had a particular focus on the characteristics associated with leadership fit and how leadership fit contributed to perceptions of meaningful work. The research procedure consisted of fifteen in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The findings revealed five overarching themes that contributed to perceptions of meaningful work: 1) having an impact, 2) relationships with others, 3) distinguished from others, 4) correspondence with oneself, and 5) environmental correspondence. While leadership fit did not emerge as a central issue, the participants’ preferred way of relating with a leader was revealed. This study contributes to the growing literature on meaningful work by strengthening a theoretical model and expanding the model with the inclusion of a new pathway to meaningful work. Additionally, this study highlights the importance of applying person-environment fit models with current meaningful work theory. Finally, this study provides practical application for refugee relocation agencies and employers based on the findings and offers suggestions for future meaningful work research.

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Brett Whitaker
Dr. Brett Whitaker, 2015

An Analysis of the Academic Disciplinary Development of Global Leadership Education

This research examined the development of global leadership degree granting programs within higher education. This research utilized an organizing framework of academic disciplinary development, and drew upon current theoretical literature describing the nature of global leadership. The two stated purposes of this study were, “to examine the field of global leadership education as compared against established criteria of academic disciplines”, and “to describe the manifestation of global leadership education in three institutions of higher education.”

A qualitative, multiple case study approach was utilized in this research. Inductive reasoning formed the basis for inquiry, as this research was exploratory and attempted to describe the nature and history of several degree granting programs. Rigorous qualitative methods were employed, utilizing multiple data sources to gather information and triangulate understanding of each case institution. Within-case and cross-case analysis was conducted to develop emergent themes, and this analysis was augmented through the use of a qualitative analysis software. Verification was achieved through the use of member checking, journaling, and a peer-debrief.

Themes emerged for each case institution, and were organized into themes related to the emergence of each program, and themes related to program outcomes. Within the cross-case analysis, three themes emerged: the pragmatic and politically driven emergence and development of programs, the tendency for global leadership programs to be tied to a related disciplinary area and that area to be more strongly represented in the curriculum, and a value orientation among the outcomes of each program. Each of these themes was supported by relevant data, quotes, and observations.
The findings of this study support the notion that while global leadership has indeed begun to emerge within higher education, it remains somewhat underdeveloped. Some elements of disciplinary development are present, but most are not. Educators, administrators, and ultimately, students, stand to benefit from rigorous inquiry into the nature of how global leadership is being manifested in higher education. Comprehensively describing the current state of the discipline, will allow program stewards to more intentionally design programs that align with current theoretical and empirical scholarship of global leadership. This research provides the beginning point of that scholarship.

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