Volume 14, Issue 2 -- Spring 2015

Very little is known about leadership at an individual level in the scholarship of leadership and social change. In this study using institutional ethnography as a research method, graduate students in an Organizational Development and Leadership program at a mid-Atlantic university are surveyed. Qualitative data analyses reveal that majority of the respondents believe that leadership has a micro perspective and can be practiced at individual level. Any attempt or idea that makes positive differences at an individual level (and not necessarily at the group level) can also be regarded as an effective leadership. Future research should further explore this definition of leadership in enhancing the well-being of individuals.

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Download this file (v14i2_banerjee.pdf)Download[ ]170 kB

This exploratory, qualitative, descriptive study examined undergraduate student perspectives of pedagogy used in an undergraduate leadership elective course to describe how students view the effectiveness and impact of pedagogies used in the course. Undergraduate students (n = 28) reflected on the effectiveness of the pedagogies and the learning environment created by the pedagogies used in the undergraduate leadership course elective. Student reflections at the end of the semester revealed student perspectives on the effectiveness of the pedagogies and were grouped into three themes: contribution to overall effectiveness, openness to different perspectives, and learning from peers. Two themes emerged for students’ perceptions of the learning environment including overcoming challenges with discussion and class logistics. 

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According to Johnson (2001) and Rest (1979) a leader who has developed a high level of moral reasoning will tend to make decisions that are better from an ethical/moral perspective than a leader who has achieved a lower level of moral reasoning. The mission statement at this university states that graduates will be prepared through training in critical and creative thinking as well as moral reasoning to analyze problems, propose solutions, and make responsible decisions. This paper reports the results the of a fouryear longitudinal study using the Defining Issues Test (DIT2) to evaluate the change in the level of moral reasoning demonstrated by undergraduate participants in the study.

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Case in Point (CIP) is an interactive leadership development method pioneered by Ronald Heifetz. CIP instructors follow a fluid class structure, in which group dynamics and student concerns become catalysts for learning. CIP proponents defend the method’s potential to help students experience real life leadership challenges. To date, however, very limited research exists on the effectiveness and risks of the CIP. This case study research explored the risks and rewards of CIP as experienced by a professor and her students in two courses. The first case was a graduate course at a liberal arts college. The second case was an undergraduate course at a large public institution. Results revealed considerable variability in student experiences. 

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Over a period of three years (2006-2008) students entering [university] were asked to complete the Student Leadership Practices Inventory (S-LPI), and 2,855 initial responses were received. Responding students were asked to complete the S-LPI again at the end of their first and third years of study. No significant differences were found in student use of the leadership practices based on age, geographic origin, or whether the student lived on or off campus during his or her first year. Significant differences were found based on students’ gender and program of study. Implications for leadership development programming are considered.

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Researchers conducted a qualitative analysis of students’ experiences while enrolled in an interdisciplinary leadership minor with the intent to determine programmatic inputs that spur leadership development. Based on students’ reflections, three domains of programmatic inputs for leadership development within the minor were identified. These domains include leadership development at the individual level, leadership development at the group level, and leadership development through experiential learning. Themes within these three domains are also identified providing additional insight into the participants’ experiences while enrolled in the leadership minor. Based on these findings, researchers proposed a framework for leadership development within an interdisciplinary minor. Recommendations for future research and application of the proposed framework are discussed.

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The purpose of this study was to understand how undergraduate students perceive reasons for changes in their leadership practices, after completing a personal leadership education course. The course focused on the five exemplary practices of college students. As part of the course, students completed the Student Leadership Practices Inventory (S-LPI) as a pre and post assessment. A qualitative content analysis of 107 undergraduate student reflections from multiple sections of a leadership course was conducted to examine students’ perceptions of what influenced their change in scores on the S-LPI assessment. Students perceived that the curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities of the course affected their change in score for the leadership behavior(s) they intended to focus on throughout the semester. 

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This instrumental case study sought to determine how collegiate-level students changed throughout a personal leadership development course. Document analysis of an archived course assignment was employed to analyze the students’ perceptions of their personal leadership development. Four themes emerged from the analysis: (a) self-evolution, (b) cognitive gain, (c) perceived self-awareness, and (d) framework confusion.

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In this theory piece, the author explores the question of how best to leverage the benefits of dialogue for leadership education. The manuscript makes the case for studying the work of the ancient Greek historian Plutarch, who provides us with a unique kind of dialogue about leaders and leadership in his Lives. This text features biographical sketches of important leaders from the ancient Greek and Roman traditions that are intended by the author to be in conversation with one another. Also presented is a brief content analysis of two lives, Lycurgus of Sparta and Numa Pompilius of Rome, with the aim of clarifying the leadership themes contained therein and showing how students of leadership can benefit from the conversation between these two biographies facilitated by Plutarch. 

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This study seeks to examine the processes through which leadership is fostered and developed within student leadership development programs. While there has been some scholarly literature written in this area, a dearth in the literature exists with respect to providing a detailed chronicle and examination of the complete processes employed within an exemplary student leadership development program. Through the analysis of such a program – validated by a recent NASPA (2011) study as an exemplar in the field of student leadership development – such a program will be examined. Through a qualitative, grounded theory approach using interviews to inductively build a framework of understanding, seven themes of student leadership development are identified. How these findings extend existing literature is then presented, as is a new theoretical model illustrating the process through which leadership is fostered and developed within students, thereby aiding the construction of future programs.

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This article discusses the use of online asynchronous discussion boards as a valuable tool for connecting students to leadership concepts, theories, and models in introductory leadership survey courses. Recommendations are given for designing effective discussion boards that engage students and enhance their learning. Student outcomes include construction of knowledge, relevant connections between course material and personal lives, and critical reflection.

 

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The Undergraduate Leadership Teaching Assistant (ULTA) experience offers students a high-impact opportunity to develop, practice, and evaluate their leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine outcomes of the ULTA experience as a high-impact practice for students studying leadership. Weekly journal entries of eight ULTAs were analyzed to assess their perspectives on the experience. Findings revealed the ULTAs developed cognitive skills through the generation of mostly divergent discussion questions on the knowledge and comprehension level of the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Cognitive Domain (Bloom et al, 1956). ULTAs applied their learning from the experience to both personal and professional roles and intend to model behaviors in seven skill areas: (a) communication; (b) active listening; (c) mentoring; (d) responsibility; (e) followership; (f) professionalism; and (g) collaboration.

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Multicultural leadership education may be enhanced through the use of social construction literature as a theoretical frame. Here, the author presents a brief overview of social construction theory and demonstrate how its tenets overlap with the goal of encouraging students’ intercultural competence. Then two classroom activities are provided that illustrate how social construction has been used to explain and examine interaction across diverse groups, as well as student feedback regarding the activities’ efficacy.

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This study evaluated the effects of brief training in how to lead organizational meetings. The training was based on an attendee-needs-based model of running meetings. Twelve mid-level managers completed the training. The study showed a significant pre to post increase in the number of needs-based behaviors displayed by meeting leaders and in attendee ratings of meeting satisfaction and meeting productivity. The results provide preliminary evidence that the training can lead to positive effects. The results also provide evidence in support of the needs-based model of running organizational meetings.

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Contemporary trends in leadership education emphasize paradigms of learning and educational practices associated with developing responsible citizens, furthering higher education’s civic mission. Yet, few introductory leadership courses include an explicit civic component (Johnson & Woodard, 2014). Service-learning is a high-impact practice designed to link the classroom and community in meaningful ways (Kuh, 2008). This application brief illustrates how Kansas State University faculty, students, and community partners engaged in a semester-long service-learning experience for the purpose of exercising leadership to make progress on the social issue of food insecurity. 

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The purpose of this study was to examine undergraduate leadership students' self-perceived level of moral imagination to make recommendations for moral imagination curricula. Moral imagination is the foundation of moral decision-making, which is critical to develop for aspiring leaders. It also has the potential to develop resilience and hardiness in organizations and people, which is paramount for community sustainability. One hundred fifty-one students in leadership courses at two universities were surveyed to measure their level of moral imagination in three constructs: reproductive, productive, and creative imagination.  It was found that participants had moderate moral imagination abilities with their highest scoring abilities in productive imagination. Recommendations lie in educational opportunities, curricula structure, and teaching techniques.

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