Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia White, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas DeVore, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. James Cox. Ph.D.


Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-method case study was to identify and describe the behaviors that exemplary consulting-firm Managing Partners use to create personal and organizational meaning for themselves and their followers through character, vision, relationships, wisdom and inspiration. In addition, it was the purpose of this study to determine the degree of importance which followers assign to the behaviors related to vision, character, relationships, wisdom and inspiration help to create personal and organizational meaning. Methodology: This study is part of a thematic exploratory mixed-methods case study. Its focus is exemplar consulting-firm Managing Partners, and it is conducted in two concurrent parts: Part I—a qualitative in-depth interview with an exemplar consulting-firm Managing Partner; and Part II—a quantitative self-administered survey among thirteen followers of the Managing Partner interviewed in Part I. Findings: The Managing Partner shows a reliance on vision, in general, and a shared vision, in particular, as the prominent domain in his leadership. Character comprises truth, trust, believability, and acceptance of consequences, but also calls for Emotional Intelligence. Relationships focused on the pro-active behavior of soliciting input from followers, listening to them and thinking about the implications of their comments. His approach to inspiration wasvitwo-dimensional—flexible and situation-centric by which he and his followers were inspired to act; and toward outcomes to which he inspired followers to achieve. Wisdom was couched in terms of its being gained from lifelong experiences and not necessarily emanating from formal education. Followers concur that all five domains are all nearly equally important. Finally, the level of importance followersattachto leadership behaviors correspondedwiththe age of the follower. Recommendations: Further research into the effects of multi-generational teams and the influence varying years of life experience may have on a leader's choice of meaning-making behaviors and strategies appears warranted. Finally, the exploration of additional domains not included herein may also bear fruitful intelligence; for example: spirituality, purpose, andpolitics.