Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Cheryl A. Getz, Ed.D.; Afsaneh Nahavandi, Ph.D.; Christopher B. Newman, Ph.D.


Competency, Cultural, Curriculum, Education, Global, Leadership


Colleges and universities in the United States have made leadership education a priority as they prepare students to confront adaptive challenges in the 21st century; “wicked problems” such as poverty, uneven opportunities for education, homelessness, and illnesses worldwide. In addition, with the increased globalization of our world, the need to teach students how to lead in a complicated, multicultural context intensifies. Global leadership is an emergent concept in the leadership field combining leadership practices with those of global cultural competency while highlighting the significance of a dynamic and complex context in the leadership process.

While there has been a significant development of leadership theory over the past 100 years much of it has been focused in the west and this can cause difficulties when translating leadership across cultures. This challenge could be addressed through teaching global leadership, and examining how culture and leadership interact in order to better prepare leadership students to be the next generation of global leaders. However, very little research has been conducted to examine if global leadership is being taught at the collegiate level, what content is being communicated, the methods used, and if this curriculum is positively impacting the students.

In particular, the purpose of this study was to examine how global leadership was being taught, across the United States, within undergraduate leadership education programs and curriculum. This was accomplished by executing a survey of leadership educators directing undergraduate Leadership Majors, Minors, and Certificates across the country concerning their global leadership courses. After completion of the initial survey (n=57) qualitative interviews (n=3)) were conducted in order to better understand the curriculum, assessment, how decisions were made when designing the curriculum. It was found that global leadership was being taught at 40% of those universities who completed the survey, utilizing a variety of methods and curriculum. Best practices were shared by the interviewees, which in turn could inform others as they work to develop global leadership classes.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies