Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Mary McDonald, PhD, Chair; Lea A. Hubbard, PhD, Member; Charla Griffy-Brown, PhD, Member


Biosciences, case study, employer-learner perceptions, Global Leadership Competencies--GLC, Leadership studies, professional development, transdisciplinary


As businesses seek to gain a competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving global marketplace and in the midst of a global talent shortage, the demand is increasing for guidance surrounding the development of global leaders. Although competency model frameworks have existed since the 1970s, the process of how an organization develops Global Leadership Competencies (GLCs) has not been well documented, particularly in new and evolving industries such as the biosciences. Furthermore, despite the time, effort, and money spent on learning and development or training programs, there are no studies that investigate employer-learner perceptions regarding the alignment of these learning programs with the GLC models designed to develop employees as transdisciplinary global leaders. This case study takes a modest step in filling that void by exploring a unique problem in the bioscience industry where scientists and business people are being cross-trained to bridge the gaps in their respective areas of disciplinary expertise. Among other factors, employee-learner perceptions regarding the impact of a learning program on their GLC development were studied to gain a better understanding of how employees make sense of their own development and apply GLCs in their work. The participant sample consisted of 714 responses included in the learning program evaluation data, as well as 14 purposefully selected individuals for in-depth interviews. A review of documents included: course syllabi, learning objectives, field observation notes, competency framework materials, and course-level evaluation data. The document review informed this study's analysis of aggregate learning program evaluation data and the in-depth interviews. The findings of this study connected complementary streams of literature related to GLCs. Theoretical frameworks associated with leadership, learning, and transdisciplinarity were explored to gain a better understanding of how organizations and individuals develop GLCs. The significance of this study is applicable across a diversity of sectors, especially when considering whether to build or buy the talent needed for organizations to be successful. Not only does this study contribute to the nascent field of global leadership and the emergent biosciences industry, it extends theory and applied research with a scalable methodology for other comparative work.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies