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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transforming Through Yoga: The Lived Experience of Leader Self-Development
by Meletta, Courtnay E., Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2020, 127; 28258108
Abstract (Summary)

Leader development has become an increasingly popular topic over the past 2 decades (Day, 2000). In recent years, researchers have revised the term leader development to leader self-development, a term that encapsulates the responsibility and engagement of the self during such developmental processes (Orvis & Ratwani, 2010; Walker & Reichard, 2020). While research on the topic is expanding, there is still minimal information on how a leader develops and effective methods to drive their development. One potential solution to this problem is through the application of yoga. Historically, Western yoga research has focused on health-related outcomes as a result of yoga practice (McCall, 2013). Conversely, this study examined the ways in which yoga practice impacts human change and development by addressing the following research question: What is the lived experience of leader self-development through yoga?

This study was conducted using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The six leaders chosen for this study were selected through purposive sampling. Each participant acknowledged yoga as the primary source for their leader development and identified at least eight out of ten positive leader traits: self-aware, self-control, self-mastery, mindful, understanding of others, flexible toward styles and behaviors of others, resilient, influential, and servant leader. Data was collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews and then recorded, transcribed, and analyzed.

A double hermeneutic approach was used during analysis as the method for interpreting the way the participants made sense of their experiences with yoga and their development as leaders. Five major themes were identified during the analysis: development of the personal self, development of the interpersonal self, development of the spiritual self, development of growth mindset, and development of resilience.

These themes provide insight into how the study participants made sense of yoga as an effective and transformational method for their leader self-development. This study adds to growing literature in the fields of yoga, mind-body leader development, adult developmental psychology, and spirituality. Suggestions are provided addressing both theoretical and practical applications for future research and leader self-development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vega, Selene
Commitee: Curtis, Devorah, Heintzman, Jennifer
School: Saybrook University
Department: Mind Body Medicine
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Management, Alternative Medicine
Keywords: Adult Developemntal Psychology, Holding Environment, Leader Development, Mind-Body Medicine, Spirituality, Yoga
Publication Number: 28258108
ISBN: 9798582507697
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