Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William P. Foster, EdD, Director; Johanna S. Hunsaker, PhD; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD


American manufacturing companies, leadership model, leadership process, Leadership studies, management, self-managed work groups


Over the past 75 years, leadership has become a widely studied phenomenon, with many theories and models offered to assist the layman to become an effective leader. Most of these theories have been based on management models, that is, models that adapt management behaviors and goals into what the authors call leadership. These theories fall into several categories: great man, trait, contingency and situational among others. While these theories have provided practitioners some valid ideas on how to improve their managerial effectiveness, they have done little in the way of expanding the knowledge of the process of leadership. This study sought to examine leadership as a process. One definition of leadership was selected and tested against the feelings and attitudes of over 100 work team members from various manufacturing companies in the United States. The intent was to prove or disprove this model of leadership within these work teams--to examine the process of leadership at work at the lowest level in organizations, rather than the popular practice of considering the chief executive of the corporation and their personal habits, behaviors or traits. A survey instrument was designed to test the leadership model selected and distributed to volunteer participants who were members of self-managed work teams within manufacturing companies. This information was supplemented with a few interviews to clarify and triangulate the data. Statistical analyses were performed to determine if the test model was valid within these settings. The author concludes that the test model of leadership is valid in all respects within the teams themselves. From outside the teams, it was found that the model did not hold valid in all respects. The author believes this is due to the nature of the self-managed teams and their independence from traditional management influence.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access