Leadership as Exhibited by a Private Sector Learning Executive; A Descriptive Case Study of Leadership

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Title: Leadership as Exhibited by a Private Sector Learning Executive; A Descriptive Case Study of Leadership
Author: Prafka, David William
Advisors: Dr. Timothy Hatcher, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to describe the role and leadership of a learning executive [Chief Knowledge Officer, Chief Learning Officer] within a publicly traded corporation. My description depicts a unique learning executive within a leading multinational medical technology corporation. My discovery pursued three researchable questions (a) How does a learning executive contribute to their organization? (b) What contextual factors affect a learning executive’s ability to exhibit leadership? (c) What type of leadership does a learning executive exhibit within their organization? My research focused on leadership as a key job competency for a learning executive. Additional outcomes from my research include a narrative description of contextual factors that influence leadership, a thorough portrayal of the job as viewed by research participants, and a how-to guide for Human Resource Development (HRD) and Human Resource Management (HRM) professionals. Reviewed literature incorporated theory from the following topical areas, leadership, upper echelon leadership, human and social capital, organizational learning, knowledge management, organizational context, and existing portrayals of the role. The dissertation relied on descriptive qualitative case study research technique to make sense of observed phenomena. I relied on in-depth participant interviews, extant organizational, and public data to further my observations. The findings of the dissertation suggest that the researched learning executive was able to influence the prosperity of this corporation as an outcome of his leadership. His leadership can be described as situation-ally dependent, behaviorally complex, and integrative. Two vetted leadership theories are utilized to portray his leadership, TRC and Transformational leadership theories. The results of the research contribute to existing literature in the areas of leadership theory, human and social capital theory, knowledge management, human resource development, qualitative business research, and literature on the role of learning executives.
Date: 2009-02-23
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Adult and Higher Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4094

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