Date of Award

Summer 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Len Hightower

Second Advisor

Catherine Webb

Third Advisor

Veronika Rozhenkova


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe World of Warcraft game leaders’ perceptions of the impact on their guilds regarding Bass’s 4 I’s of transformational leadership.

Methodology: This qualitative study interviewed 13 World of Warcraft game leaders who have led their guild members for at least one year. The main source of data collection was semi-structured open-ended interview questions with other resources to include artifacts. The researcher coded and analyzed data for themes and patterns.

Findings: Several domains of Bass’s Four I’s Transformational Leadership framework were found to have an impact on World of Warcraft game leaders’ experiences, influencing communication, motivation, challenges, creativity and innovation, and guild culture.

Conclusions: Frequent and consistent communication, inspiration, organizational culture, creativity, innovation, and female leadership capacity serve as a foundation for leadership development in online gaming. Game leaders shared their leadership perceptions and experiences, providing insight on transformational leadership development.

Recommendations: Game leaders should foster a guild culture and community that is suffused in transparent communication, active motivation and encouragement, strategic visions and goals, and deliberate on promoting creativity and innovation. Game leaders can increase the engagement of guild members by creating safe spaces where guild members can share their ideas and trust that game leaders are listening, being considerate of their needs.