The purpose of this study was to examine the process of leadership identity development of participants and the influence of mentoring in a non-degree leadership certification program. The central research question of this study was: How does a participant's identity as a leader develop over time? The influence of a formal mentoring program on the formation of a leader identity also was examined. A qualitative case-study approach with in-depth semi-structured interviews was used to gather the perspectives of participants and mentors. The study included 25 research participants and 11 mentor dyads. Three themes emerged from the data: (a) the mentor partnership-leader identity discovery, (b) leader identity development through critical learning moments, and (c) leader identity development through self-knowledge. The findings of this study extend the focus of existing literature to a population seldom considered in leadership and mentoring research, volunteers at a not-for-profit organization who are participating in a leadership development program. Findings of this research suggest that adult learning principles are instrumental components to the leader identity development process. The participants believed that their formal mentoring experience was pivotal to the discovery and development of their leader identity. Additionally, critical reflection upon the critical learning moments was another of the key factors that led to their development of their identity as a leader. Suggestions for future research include: (a) the effects of adult learning approaches on leadership-identity development, and (b) the affect mentoring may have on the different stages of identity development.
|Commitee:||Finkelstein, Lisa, Zheng, Wei|
|School:||Northern Illinois University|
|Department:||Counseling, Adult and Higher Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Management, Adult education|
|Keywords:||Identity, Identity development, Leader identity, Leadership development, Mentoring|
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