Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The lived experiences of the army officer's wife to an army commander's toxic leadership: A phenomenological study
by Black, Judith A., Ph.D., Capella University, 2015, 209; 3706180
Abstract (Summary)

Although media attention is increasing describing the effects military commander’s toxic leadership has on the organization and subordinate military members, few studies focus on an Army commander toxic leadership (ACTL) as experienced by an Army officer’s wife (AOW) whose spouse is subordinate to the ACTL. Researchers have focused on the unique stressors experienced by military members and their families in an attempt to gain insight and understanding into the unique culture from a stress theory perspective. Studies report the active duty member’s is challenged with negative interpersonal relationship problems, reduced coping skills, limited resources, and feelings of hopelessness resulting from the exposure to a commander’s toxic leadership. The stress theory is rooted in positive psychology focusing on individual perceptions and strengths to overcome stressors from a culturally competent lens. This qualitative phenomenological study explores the lived experiences of 10 Army officer’s wives on their journey through an Army commander’s toxic leadership. The participants were recruited nationwide from the social media network, Facebook. Participants were interviewed using a modified, semi-structured interview guide to insure responses were related to the central research question. The results of the study confirmed the presence of non-normative stressors, coping skills, resources, and crises framed from a stress theory perspective. Themes were related to ACTL stressor description, ACTL hardships, stressor meeting resources, and outcome gains and costs. The study concluded that the experience of an ACTL is an institutional cancer with the high-propensity to metastasize, leaving a path of destruction, poison, and scars in its’ path.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fickenscher, Connie
Commitee: Korn, Leslie, Sherman, Jocelyn
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-B 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Counseling Psychology, Military studies
Keywords: Army commander, Army officer wife, Command climate, Military, Stress theory, Toxic leadership
Publication Number: 3706180
ISBN: 978-1-321-79735-0
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