Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; William P. Foster, EdD; Kevin L. Freiberg, EdD


case study, executive director, higher education, Leadership studies, National Association for Campus Activities, qualitative, transforming leadership


The purpose of this study is to examine transforming leadership within the context where this relationship exists. Specific focus is on the National Association for Campus Activities, a national educational association composed of over 1,100 institutions of higher education and 400 associated firms, and its Executive Director, who served as the center of the web of leadership relationships during the past seven years. The study took the form of a qualitative case study, with interviews and observations taking place over a one year period at various sites across the country during meetings of the Association and its officers. The research had four purposes: 1. To study transforming leadership in an organization where the central character in the relationships did not serve as CEO. 2. To investigate the manner in which vision served as the driving force in the leadership relationship among leaders and followers. 3. To study transforming leadership where the central character in the relationships was not charismatic by nature. 4. To study leadership, by investigating both how the vision was formed and communicated and the manner in which the leadership relationship developed among leaders and followers. This study of key volunteers and staff members of the Association uncovered an organization that fosters and promotes influence based leadership relationships as a norm for behavior and interactions. The organization's culture supports collaboration, teamwork, and the free flow of information between individuals in different levels of authority as well as prizing the fluid nature of the leadership and followership roles volunteers move in and out of in the Association. Specific results are that transforming leadership relationships are not dependent on a charismatic leader serving as the CEO in an organization. Additionally, vision is shown as being intertwined with the culture of an organization, and the vision serves as the driving force in the leadership relationships among hundreds of volunteers in the Association.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access