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Doctoral Dissertation Abstract

D.B.A.  Baker College (Michigan), 2011.
Specialization: Leadership. 

Effective leadership in a 21st - century federal agency
165 pages. UMI #: AAT 3456890
Bibliographic Record in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database

The challenge in a 21 st century federal agency is to understand the effect of leadership on employee productivity, accountability, and fiscal responsibility. This study explored attempts to understand the impact of leadership styles on employee productivity, accountability, and the fiscal responsibility of a federal agency. Leaders function as moral agents of change as they facilitate discourse among employees. In a federal government agency, transactional leadership is the organizational model. This study assessed what effect traditional (transactional), nontraditional (transformational), and other leadership styles have on employee productivity in a federal agency. This investigation explored the effect of leadership styles on employee productivity in an environment where fiscal accountability is key to agency sustainability. The researcher sought to better understand how leaders engage others in moral conversation and how such processes influence organizational culture and democratic civil society. Theoretical contexts drew from studies on leadership style and leadership theory. The research entailed a review of the relevant literature on leadership theory and practice. Data analysis included an evaluation of 14 leadership situations from public sector organizations selected as cases, most of which involved complex and interconnected problems within and among organizations. Based on data (interview) analysis and synthesis, the researcher explored the meaning of patterns and connecting themes to help formulate conclusions. The research has implications for guiding change within organizations and collaboration among leaders and employees to understand problems that cut across lines of authority, expertise, and resources. The intent of this research was to understand how leadership styles directly or indirectly effect employee productivity, accountability, and fiscal responsibility of a federal agency. Findings in this study indicate a need for future research in attitudes, behaviors, and how leadership styles develop by managers. Findings show the focus of the servant leader is on the follower. Results also demonstrate that managers display both transformational and transactional leadership characteristics toward their followers and both approaches have links to the achievement of some goal or objective.

Committee Members

  • Peggy M. Houghton, Ph.D.
  • Susan Cathcart, Ph.D.
  • Mary Dereshiwsky, Ph.D.