Strategic leadership development in the U.S. Navy: A phenomenological study of Navy Rear Admirals

by Goff, Leonard G., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 212 pages; 3396506


Since 2002, the United States Navy has conducted targeted executive or strategic leadership development for newly promoted Admirals to aid their transition from supervisory leader to strategic leadership. The U.S. Navy built their development program on corporate models; however, the leadership context of the Navy is dissimilar from the corporate sector. To gain an understanding of how Navy leaders make sense of their strategic leadership development, a phenomenological study of 14 representative Rear Admirals, was conducted. This qualitative study revealed that this group of Rear Admirals believed they had transitioned to occupy limited strategic leadership roles while valuing most their ability to learn from job experiences. As a group, the junior Admirals did not value highly the Navy's targeted strategic leadership development course. Additionally, most bemoaned a lack of meaningful feedback, described a lack of engaged mentorship, had no individual development plans, and felt uncertainty about their futures in the Navy. They shared a belief that their ability to stay in the Navy was dependent on continued promotion based primarily on success in operationally focused assignments, which emphasized their supervisory leadership competencies. The acceptance of only a limited strategic role and continued self and organizational emphasis on supervisory leadership roles may have precluded the corporately derived, strategic leadership development program from being embraced fully by this group of Navy executives.

AdviserRobert Rowden
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Military studies
Publication Number3396506

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