Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Sylvia Gonzalez

Second Advisor

Jay Brand

Third Advisor

Duane Covrig

Abstract

Problem

Leaders face challenges from within themselves and from others. Dysfunctions within the leader and with their group can lessen leadership effectiveness. It appears some leaders manage these dysfunctions better than others. More needs to be understood about how these dysfunctions are best mediated and some have suggested clarification of values and beliefs can do that.

Method

This study followed a quantitative correlational research design. Data were obtained using surveys that 84 participants completed on line. Participants were selected from current lay leaders and former lay leaders of not more than three years past from Christ United Methodist Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Collegedale Community Church of Collegedale, Tennessee. The Dark Side Leadership Profile (DSLP) was used to measure the degree of codependence, compulsion, paranoia, narcissism, and passive-aggression tendencies (described as dysfunctions) while the Modeling-the-Way Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) Self was used to measure the degree one can clarify and authentically express values and beliefs. Regression and correlation analysis was used to test for a relationship between Modeling-the-Way and each dysfunction.

Results

The results of the study indicate a moderate degree of each of the dysfunctions existing among the participants however higher dysfunctional scores were evident with compulsion and codependence while lower scores, but still in the moderate range, were measured in passive-aggression scores. The results also indicated a consistently high degree of clarification and expression of values and beliefs among the participants.

A statistically significant inverse relationship was discovered between Modeling-the-Way LPI Self scores and the DSLP scores measuring each dysfunction with the exception of codependence among lay leaders in Collegedale Community Church. With that exception these results indicate that the higher one scored on the Modeling-the-Way LPI Self, a measure used to show the degree one has discovered and authentically expressed values and beliefs, the lower one scored on the DSLP inventory, the measuring for dysfunction. Results also indicated that the major component of Modeling-the-Way that asks the constituent “for feedback on how my [the leader’s] actions affect others performance” impacted significantly every dysfunction with the exception of codependence.

Conclusions

The purpose of the study was to explore if the discovery and authentic expression of a leader’s values and beliefs may lower a leader’s tendencies toward these dysfunctions. The results of the study indicate that the more lay leaders in these congregations discover and authentically express their values to their constituents the lower the levels of dysfunctional tendencies, with the exception of codependence in Collegedale Community Church. A review of the literature validates the results obtained. It is therefore suggested that the more one discovers and authentically expresses values and beliefs, the less dysfunction will be reported and the more effective a leader will be perceived to be.

Subject Area

Leadership, Christian leadership, Values clarification, Dysfunctional families, Christ United Methodist Church (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Collegedale Community Church (Collegedale, Tenn.)

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