Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Robert Donmoyer, PhD, Chair Antonio Jiménez-Luque, PhD, Member Leslie Boozer, EdD, JD, Member


Leadership, female leadership, leadership development, leadership development program, program evaluation


Leadership development programs (LDPs) came into existence as a direct result of the realization that leaders are not necessarily born but may need to be educated to become effective leaders. The assumption of LDPs is that leadership competencies can be taught, and evidence has suggested LDPs do, indeed, produce positive changes in aspiring leaders. Such evidence, however, has been generated largely by evaluation studies at the conclusion of most LDPs. Consequently, little to no attention has been given to participants’ actual use of what they have learned in LDPs on the job. The lack of research on the impact of LDPs in actual organizational settings has been clearly evident in existing literature. This study began to fill a gap about the on-the-job impact of LDPs. The focus was on the impact—or possibly the lack of impact—of one LDP, the Development Dynamics Course (DDC) offered every year by Caritas India. Caritas India is a large-scale, faith-based, nonprofit organization operating in all states of India that offers the DDC annually for newly appointed leaders of the Catholic church’s social wing.

This study interviewed 12 DDC leaders who participated in the 51st DDC provided by Caritas India in 2021. These participants were located in the north, west, and south portions of India. The study was a two-prong study that investigated how participants conceptualized leadership before and after the DDC leadership training and the learned skills they applied to their leadership practices. The study also compared how male and female participants differed in both prongs of the study, along with how they differed across the three regions. A single-qualitative case study design was employed for the investigation. The findings indicated all but one participant changed their conception of leadership as a direct result of their participation in the DDC leadership training program. All 12 participants applied different skills learned from the DDC program in their leadership practices.

Keywords: Leadership, female leadership, leadership development, leadership development program, program evaluation

Document Type

Dissertation: USD Users Only


Leadership Studies