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experience of being a leader during a ropes course program and at work: A heuristic inquiry

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Date Issued:
2004
Summary:
This study explored the question, "What is the experience of being a leader during participation in a ropes course program and at work?" The ropes course as a training medium provides opportunities for people to engage in challenging activities to improve interpersonal skills. From ten ropes course programs and 130 participants, the researcher purposefully selected thirteen co-researchers who exhibited pre-determined leadership behaviors. Dialogue with each co-researcher provided rich descriptions and metaphors about the experience of being a leader. Using heuristic research methods, the researcher analyzed the data and uncovered redundant themes to better understand the phenomenon of being a leader. While each experience was unique, the composite encompassed the principles of several leadership theories. The significant meaning revealed was that being a leader was a big responsibility and it provided opportunities to transform and be transformed, which was enjoyable, rewarding and sometimes frustrating. Six major findings emerged from the inquiry. The first related to the concept of leaderless groups and emergent leaders. A leader emerged from each of the leaderless groups that started on the ropes course. The second finding was that the experiences of leading on the ropes course and at work closely mirrored each other. The third finding represented the major difference between being a leader on the ropes course and being a leader at work. The ropes course provided a setting for participants to experience being transformational leaders, without the ramifications of office politics, transactions and economic pressures. The fourth finding was that managing followers was the single most frustrating aspect of the experience of being a leader. All of the frustrations occurred when the values and principles espoused by leaders and followers were not aligned. The fifth finding was that the experience of being a leader was holistic because it encompassed who the individuals were, how they performed in two different settings, what feelings this evoked and what significance it held for them. The sixth finding revealed that trait, style, situational, transformational and visionary leadership theories are not mutually exclusive. The study findings serve as a guide for practitioners to design more meaningful leadership development programs.
Title: The experience of being a leader during a ropes course program and at work: A heuristic inquiry.
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Name(s): Starr, Malika
Florida Atlantic University, Degree Grantor
Bryan, Valerie, Thesis Advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 246 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This study explored the question, "What is the experience of being a leader during participation in a ropes course program and at work?" The ropes course as a training medium provides opportunities for people to engage in challenging activities to improve interpersonal skills. From ten ropes course programs and 130 participants, the researcher purposefully selected thirteen co-researchers who exhibited pre-determined leadership behaviors. Dialogue with each co-researcher provided rich descriptions and metaphors about the experience of being a leader. Using heuristic research methods, the researcher analyzed the data and uncovered redundant themes to better understand the phenomenon of being a leader. While each experience was unique, the composite encompassed the principles of several leadership theories. The significant meaning revealed was that being a leader was a big responsibility and it provided opportunities to transform and be transformed, which was enjoyable, rewarding and sometimes frustrating. Six major findings emerged from the inquiry. The first related to the concept of leaderless groups and emergent leaders. A leader emerged from each of the leaderless groups that started on the ropes course. The second finding was that the experiences of leading on the ropes course and at work closely mirrored each other. The third finding represented the major difference between being a leader on the ropes course and being a leader at work. The ropes course provided a setting for participants to experience being transformational leaders, without the ramifications of office politics, transactions and economic pressures. The fourth finding was that managing followers was the single most frustrating aspect of the experience of being a leader. All of the frustrations occurred when the values and principles espoused by leaders and followers were not aligned. The fifth finding was that the experience of being a leader was holistic because it encompassed who the individuals were, how they performed in two different settings, what feelings this evoked and what significance it held for them. The sixth finding revealed that trait, style, situational, transformational and visionary leadership theories are not mutually exclusive. The study findings serve as a guide for practitioners to design more meaningful leadership development programs.
Identifier: 9780496673834 (isbn), 12073 (digitool), FADT12073 (IID), fau:8985 (fedora)
Note(s): Thesis (Ed.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2004.
Subject(s): Leadership
Adventure education
Experiential learning
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FADT12073
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.