Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The lived experience of courage in women leaders: A heuristic study
by Ali, Angela Adams, Ph.D., Capella University, 2014, 112; 3631226
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this research was to explore the subjective lived experiences of women leaders to understand how they experience courage. Women remain disproportionately represented in leadership roles within most areas of organizations and society. Researchers indicate that women ideally rise to successful leadership roles once they have served, or possess the potential to serve, in leadership. Additionally, previous narrative research suggests a rather significant interrelationship between women who have more frequently advanced past barriers into leadership roles and their remarkable attribute of courage. A heuristic phenomenological approach was used to collect and analyze the described lived experiences of eight courageous women leaders. The themes from the study reveal that women who experience courageous leadership (a) inhabit their authentic voices; (b) experience moral courage; and (c) experience vulnerability. Additional insights provided by the co-researchers in this study revealed some individual distinctions necessary for strong, courageous leadership; these included a strong sense of personal agency, an inner need to express autonomous identity and convictions, and the ability to build connections to followers for collaborative results. Unanimously, the women in this study reported that their experiences with courageous leadership had transformative effects on themselves and within their environment. Further research related to specific evidenced-based coaching interventions are recommended to explore how women grow toward courageous leadership. These outcomes related to authentic, morally courageous, and yet vulnerable leadership may help to establish a new paradigm for how power and leadership can be experienced in a new century for both courageous men and women.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vogele-Welch, Deborah
Commitee: Aragon, Nancy, Fischer, Deborah, Vogele-Welch, Deborah
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Womens studies, Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Courage, Leadership, Organizational behavior, Organizational psychology, Organizational theory, Talent management, Women leaders, Women's studies
Publication Number: 3631226
ISBN: 9781321096033
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