Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Personal transformation: The relationship of transformative learning experiences and transformational leadership
by Gabriel, Paulette, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2008, 317; 3315444
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the process and outcomes of transformative learning experiences and their relationship to transformational behaviors and characteristics in a group of 19 leaders. Mezirow's (1981) transformative learning theory describes transformation as a reconstruction of one's perspective and worldview based on a set of altered and more inclusive basic assumptions. Mezirow (1991) and other theorists (Argyris & Schon, 1974; Kegan, 1994; Quinn, 1996) have suggested that deep-level transformative change results in broader, more differentiated perspective, increased personal autonomy and personal efficacy, and better decision making. This study began to address how the outcomes of transformative learning related to key characteristics and behaviors associated with transformational leadership behaviors and characteristics as described by Sashkin (1986), Rosenbach and Sashkin (1993), and Sashkin and Sashkin (2003).

In this multiple case study, 19 participants were purposefully selected through a preliminary qualifying interview and were asked to participate in an in-depth interview designed to gather data about relevant and important learning events in their lives. They were also asked to describe their leadership behaviors and characteristics.

The findings describe how participants perceived the impact of transformative learning experiences on their transformational leadership behaviors and characteristics.

Transformative learning experiences were related to the development of transformational leadership behaviors and characteristics such as credible, principled, confident, and visionary leadership. The conclusions from this study include how key shifts in perspective not only yielded outcomes identified in the literature, but also built awareness about assumptions enabling development of a leadership frame of reference that facilitated credible and authentic leadership, built visionary leadership capability, built confident leadership, and enhanced openness to learning that enabled further transformation in the leaders themselves and in others.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cseh, Maria
Commitee: Bocchino, Joseph, Schwandt, David
School: The George Washington University
Department: Education and Human Development
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business education
Keywords: Leadership, Leadership development, Learning, Transformational leadership, Transformative learning
Publication Number: 3315444
ISBN: 9780549661986
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