Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary M. Williams, EdD, Chair; Mary Woods Scherr, PhD; Daniel M. Miller, PhD


character assessment, leadership development, Leadership studies, professional development, qualitative, self-awareness


One of the keys to personal development is self-awareness as assessed by instruments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the NEO PI-R, both of which are widely accepted reliable and valid indicators and measures of personality type. However, assessing the part of personality known as character presents challenges that are not adequately addressed by today's popular instruments leaving information needed for development incomplete or unavailable. An instrument that provides a reliable and valid assessment of character for leadership and personal development purposes could be very valuable. Qualitative methods were used for this study to investigate leaders' perceptions of the utility of using an existing instrument, the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), to enhance character awareness for the purposes of personal and professional growth and improving leadership skills. This study demonstrates that the TCI can be useful for enhancing such skills and development by helping leaders improve their self-awareness through character assessment. This study included two groups of respondents, the seven member executive group and the three member coaching group. The executive group completed the TCI, received feedback and assistance in developing an action plan, and each participant was interviewed to determine to what extent the TCI and this process was useful to them for improving self-awareness of character and for identifying ways they desired to improve their personal and professional skills. The coaching group participated by both completing their personal TCI process, and by working with selected executive group participants and the researcher in interpreting the executive participants' TO results and advising on action plans. The coaching participants were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the extent to which the TCI and this process were useful to them personally and useful to the executive participants they coached. Additionally, the coaching group was asked to recommend specific training approaches, methods and improvements to make the overall process more effective. This study demonstrated that the TCI and the methods used in the study can be useful for leadership development to those committed to professional and personal growth by using character assessment as part of a personal continuous improvement program. Some participants qualified their endorsement of the TCI and the process used for the study by suggesting changes.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access