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Factors that influence leader identity development in college students

Date

2016

Authors

Thompson, Sara E., author
Kuk, Linda, advisor
Berry, Joyce, committee member
Gloeckner, Gene, committee member
Riggio, Ron, committee member

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Abstract

In the present study, I explore the extent to which college students who take a leadership theory course experience a change in their leader identity. As a secondary area of focus, I also explore if students taking a leadership theory course experience changes in their self-perceptions on constructs such as motivation to lead, leadership self-efficacy, leader developmental efficacy, and attitudes and beliefs about leadership. Research has shown that one's self-concept as a leader or one's "leader identity" influences the leadership opportunities in which he or she chooses to participate (Day & Harrison, 2007). Studies have also shown that leader self-efficacy can influence a student's desire to engage in leadership activities (Dugan, Garland, Jacoby, & Gasiorski, 2008; McCormick & Tanguma, 2007). Leadership self-efficacy and systemic attitudes and beliefs increased over the course of semester-long leadership theory course; while data did not show changes in one's leader identity, motivation to lead, or leader developmental efficacy over the same period of time. Leadership self-efficacy and developmental self-efficacy combined predicted leader identity to the .08 significance level; however, these results should be interpreted with caution in that they only explained 4% of the variance. There were no differences by gender for pretest and posttest scores of students taking a leadership theory class. In addition, there was not a difference between the experimental and comparison group in part due to a small sample size.

Description

2016 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.

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