Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing National Defense University presidents against the intellectual stimulation component of Bass's transformational leadership model
by Mayall, William T., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2008, 582; 3315766
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to assess five National Defense University (NDU) presidents who served full terms of office since the end of the Cold War period against the Intellectual Stimulation component of Bernard Bass's transformational leadership model in an effort to change the thinking of NDU's Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) students (Avolio & Bass, 2002; Bass, 1985, 1996, 1998). Despite the University's important mission of educating the Nation's next generation of senior leaders, and the prominent role the University plays in the Professional Military Education (PME)/JPME system, there has been only limited research done on NDU in general (five studies) and no in-depth examination of either individual presidents or the NDU office of the president itself. This was the first study to examine in-depth the office of the president or the role of NDU presidents in leading the institution to determine if they have provided the kind of leadership necessary to meet the educational needs of the nation's future military and civilian leaders.

The study used a qualitative methods intrinsic case study research design grounded in the constructivist paradigm. Analyses of the data derived from document analysis provided a comprehensive view of whether the study population had practiced the leadership behaviors associated with the Intellectual Stimulation aspect of Bass's model.

The data analysis revealed that while all presidents used all aspects of Intellectual Stimulation, there was considerable variability in that utilization. In order of usage, the subcategories of Intellectual Stimulation were fostering innovation and creativity (ISd) (78 instances of 177), questioning of assumptions (ISa) (64 examples), reframing or stimulating new perspectives (ISb) (22), and approaching old problems from many different angles (ISc) (13). The results indicated a strong relationship between a president's preferences and the subcategory of Intellectual Stimulation.

All presidents employed a wide range of communication modes when demonstrating Intellectual Stimulation. However, there was large variability in that utilization. In order of employment, the communication modes were briefings (58), formal reports (48), formal communiqu├ęs (40), speeches (19), media (10), and Congressional testimony (1). The results indicated that presidents had definite preferences for the communication modes they used.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McDade, Sharon A.
Commitee: Francis, Ray W., McIntyre, David H.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Education and Human Development
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Higher education, Armed forces
Keywords: Bass, Bernard, Intellectual stimulation, National Defense University, Presidents, Professional military education, Transformational leadership, Washington, D.C.
Publication Number: 3315766
ISBN: 978-0-549-67213-5
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