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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Political Leadership: A Study of the Changing Political Landscape in West Virginia
by Freeman, Harry Morgan, D.E.Lead., University of Charleston - Beckley, 2020, 271; 28148214
Abstract (Summary)

Following the general election in November 2014, the State of West Virginia experienced political change that broke almost a century of single-party control by the Democratic Party. Democrats had been in control of the West Virginia House of Delegates since 1930 and the West Virginia Senate since 1932. In fall of 2014, the Republican Party upended 82-years of combined political control of the legislative branch of government in the State of West Virginia.

This qualitative study was conducted using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Through the lens of the political leaders who were involved in this historic change, in-depth interviews were held to further understand how this phenomenon happened. Seven political leaders were interviewed for this research. Rich data was gathered from the seven participants and themes were extracted from the data to understand this particular political phenomenon. The major concepts of this dissertation dealt with change in the context of political leadership while also providing a better understanding of the complex systems involved. Complexity leadership theory played a significant role in understanding how complex systems facilitate path dependence. Dialogic leadership theory helped expose the political shortcomings during this event. The research questions for this study included:

1. How did the political leadership in the state of West Virginia make sense of the political change that occurred in 2014?

2. How did complexity leadership theory assist in understanding the changing political landscape in West Virginia before and after the 2014 general election?

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: White, Douglas A.
Commitee: Skinner, Stephen, Lonam, Matthew W., Boggess, Corrina M.
School: University of Charleston - Beckley
Department: Buisness and Leadership
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Behavioral psychology, Social psychology
Keywords: Complexity leadership theory, Dialogic leadership theory, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), Path dependence, Political change, Political leadership
Publication Number: 28148214
ISBN: 9798678140265
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