Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Patricia Clark White
Dr. Tod Burnett
Dr. Doug DeVore
Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological research study was to describe the behaviors that exemplary community college presidents practice to lead their organizations through conversation as depicted by Groysberg and Slind’s (2012) four elements of conversational leadership: intimacy, interactivity, inclusion, and intentionality.
Methodology: This qualitative, phenomenological study described the lived experiences of exemplary community college presidents as they lead their organizations through the use of conversational leadership. The sample population for this study was community college presidents who met the criteria of exemplary from single-college districts in Southern California. Data were gathered and triangulated from semistructured, in-depth interviews, participant observations, and the collection of artifacts. Interview questions and protocols were established by a thematic dissertation team of peers and faculty experts. Data analysis was performed using NVivo software.
Findings: Thirty themes and 549 frequencies emerged from the data across the four elements of conversational leadership: intimacy, interactivity, inclusion, and intentionality. Seventeen key findings resulted from the data relating to the lived experiences of exemplary community college presidents and their use of conversational leadership to lead their organizations.
Conclusions: Examination of the key findings resulted in 8 conclusions demonstrating the conversational leadership behaviors of the participants of this study. The top 4 conclusions revealed that community college presidents (a) who want to build intimate relationships with their constituents need to share stories to build trust and reveal commonalities; (b) who want to build strong, intimate relationships with their constituents need to commit to being genuine, authentic, and transparent in their conversations; (c) who want to increase trust and intimacy within the organization must actively listen to the members of their organization; and (d) who want to create an interactive organization must consistently encourage open dialogue across the organization and use their imbedded institutional processes to encourage further collaboration and dialogue among members.
Recommendations: The study of conversational leadership practices across populations is in its infancy, and there are recommendations to conduct further research to broaden the scope and add to the body of literature available.
LaBounty, Jennifer K., "Community College Presidents and the Role of Conversational Leadership" (2018). Dissertations. 160.