Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Erich Baumgartner

Second Advisor

Jay Brand

Third Advisor

Edwin Hernandez


Collaboration is often cited as a long-term benefit of participation in leadership development programs. Successful collaboration requires unique leadership skills, which rely on trust and influence rather than authority and position. Collaboration takes place over the passage of time. Evaluation of leadership development programs that focus on outcomes after the passage of time is rare making it difficult to confirm if a relationship between the collaborative skills taught and measurable collaboration activity exists.

This study was able to draw on the alumni of the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, a national faith-based leadership development program that maintains on-going relationships with its graduates. Alumni from a ten-year period were surveyed using a pre-existing instrument called the Collaborative Leadership Self-Assessment and a collaboration activity measurement designed for the study. An analysis of the effect of the collaborative leadership skills and demographics of the participants on collaboration activity was conducted using, Pearson correlation, multiple regression analysis, and one-way analysis of variance.

All of the collaborative leadership skills had a significant relationship to reported collaboration activity. The ability of the leader to bring clarity to a shared vision and create action plans to mobilize people had the strongest relationship to collaboration activity. Leaders who showed a willingness to share power and influence also had a strong relationship to collaboration activity. Analysis of demographic segments of the study participants showed there was a significant difference between men and women with men reporting collaboration more often than women. There was also a significant difference based on education level. Alumni who had no college degree reported more collaboration activity than those who had a graduate degree.

Subject Area

Leadership; Employee empowerment; Delegation of authority