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Title: Putting the leader back in leadership development : discovering different leader profiles of change
Authors: Ward, Sharon Chin-Luan
Keywords: Business::Management::Leadership
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Ward, S. C. (2021). Putting the leader back in leadership development : discovering different leader profiles of change. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Historically, leadership training research has relied on the classic variable-centered approach, focusing on the types of interventions or specific individual characteristics that predict leadership outcomes. It has rarely adopted person-centered approaches that could give insight into the different sub-populations of leaders in attendance. This is important because leaders may have different configurations of perceptions (e.g., regarding both their own leadership practices and the training content) that relate to training outcomes. Therefore, my dissertation adopts a person-centered approach to identify different profiles of leaders attending training. I begin my dissertation by conducting a systematic review of leadership development to synthesize this emerging field. By partially replicating and extending the work of Vogel et al. (2020), I develop a nomological network of leadership development and identify person-centered approaches as a key area that could provide valuable new insights. In my first field study, I conduct a qualitative research study with 100 participants at a two-week residential leadership training. Findings reveal six participant profiles. Half of the leaders (48%) attended training with a “cup-full” attitude— feeling confident in their leadership before training. Participants respond to training either by conversion (switching allegiances to new practices), reinforcement (existing practices are strengthened), or resistance (rejecting new practices). In my second field study, I extend the ideas in the previous study with a longitudinal and multisource research design. I adopt qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) and contingency table analysis to (1) discover dominant configurations of leaders’ self-efficacy in intrapersonal and interpersonal skills before and after attending a leadership program; and (2) relate these configurations to observer ratings after the training. My findings reveal four dominant configurations of leaders’ self-efficacy between leaders rated as effective versus ineffective by observers. This dissertation offers three discoveries that raises interesting questions to advance leadership development research. First, I shift the focus of research from examining the leadership training intervention to exploring the different profiles of leaders who attend training and what they gained from the training. Second, findings from my second essay show that 48% of leaders who attend training do not perceive an initial need to improve their existing practices. However, my research also shows that these “cup-full” leaders can still benefit from training, thus offering an expanded conceptualization of training outcomes beyond increasing one’s leadership effectiveness. Finally, my study uncovers the role of persuasion in convincing “cup-full” leaders to learn and benefit from training. In so doing, I shift the focus of research from viewing the individual as a passive recipient of training to that of an agentic learner who actively decides what to adopt or reject.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/151842
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: embargo_20220702
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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