Why commanders lead: A study in leadership motivations of Air Force officers

by Jacobson, Daniel G., Jr., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 115 pages; 3344721


The purpose of this research was to determine if the Air Force was selecting the right individuals to become squadron commanders. Furthermore, it attempted to show the relationships between Regulatory Focus Theory, Motivation to Lead Theory, leadership style employments, and their impact on organizational outcome. In such, an empirical connection between motivations and behaviors could be illustrated with the associated impact on performance. In this study, Air Force students from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama were given two surveys to measure their leadership motivations and behaviors. Path analysis was used to determine the causal relationship results. Conclusions showed relationships existed between regulatory focus, motivation to lead facets, leadership style employment, and organizational outcome; although the results were not as definitive as expected from previous research on the subjects. As a result of the study, it is recommended to study the impact of the military organizational culture on leadership motivations and behaviors. Also, applying a similar research construct to corporate organizations is recommended.

AdviserJulian C. Wallace
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBehavioral psychology; Management; Military studies
Publication Number3344721

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