Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the Lived Experience of Participants of Women-Only Leadership Development
by Johnson, Tammy, D.B.A., Capella University, 2020, 248; 28262391
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study explored the lived experience of women-only leadership development participants to answer the research question, “How has women-only leadership development had an effect on participants' perception of their personal leadership identity and their self-awareness as it pertains to their social capital?” The development was in response to the shortage of women in senior leadership roles and intended to expand awareness of the dynamics in the male-dominated, male-created work environment. The intent was to provide insight to improve leader identity, self-awareness, and social capital in women. Participants' perception of personal leadership identity and self-awareness pertaining to social capital had yet to be captured. The study began through purposive sampling via paper flyers and then transitioned to snowball sampling across the nation. The experiences of 13 participants at least 18 years of age who had attended women-only leadership development between 2014 and 2019 were studied. Semi-structured, face-to-face, and internet-based video interviews were conducted to collect data for this transcendental phenomenological study. Data were collected from participants 20 to 55 years old; the least educated had some college, while the most educated held a graduate degree. Data were transcribed by the researcher using NVivo Transcription Version 12 (NVivo) and analyzed through the modified van Kaam method. Seven themes emerged: networking, leadership, self-awareness, leader development, women-centric experience, struggle, and courage. The development was a unique opportunity for women from various occupations to come together and communicate thoughts, feelings, and beliefs on aspects of professional life universally experienced by women. Leadership emerged as an action that could be undertaken by anyone to produce a positive outcome. Self-awareness was experienced as getting to know each other, being conscious that behavior affects self and others, and actions have consequences. The development was a platform to build skill sets, prepare for opportunities, and reenter the workforce as an evolved leader. The women-centric experience promoted authenticity, and opportunity to shed one's inhibitions. Struggle was found interwoven into various aspects of the participants’ existence. Women expressed feelings of courage to challenge, better represent, and believe in self. This study furthered dialogue to address the lack of women in senior leadership roles and explore women-only leadership development outcomes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Callender, Stephen
Commitee: Muchnick, Marc, Randall, Phillip M
School: Capella University
Department: School of Business, Technology and Health Administration
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Womens studies, Social structure
Keywords: leader-identity, phenomenology, qualitative, self-awareness, social capital, women-only leadership development
Publication Number: 28262391
ISBN: 9798557041942
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