A phenomenological inquiry into the perceptions of first level supervisors on transformational leadership

by Marshall, Edwin K., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 190 pages; 3509110


This dissertation is qualitative in nature in that it employs the transcendental phenomenology methodology. The study relied on the experiences of 21 first level supervisors. The goal was to understand their perceptions of and lived experiences with transformational leadership. The research begins with a literature review of the leading purveyors of this new leadership paradigm. The paper proceeds to the steps of the modified Van Kaam transcendental model. The initial step involves Epoche which requires the researcher to bracket all biases on the subject to allow for openness to new insights. The proceeding steps include transcendental reduction, textural descriptions and a synthesis of meanings and essences. Four phenomenological themes emerged from the process. They were mentors encountered, significant role models, charismatic leaders within the organizations, and the presence of a collective innovative mindset. Finally, this dissertation produces a deeper understanding that front-line supervisors are vital links between the workers and upper management. In that vein, it is imperative that more attention be given to improve the communications and team building skills of this essential layer of management.

AdviserKathleen Henry
Source TypeDissertation
Publication Number3509110

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