Leatrice Oram, Ph.D., is a 2016 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University

Dr. Leatrice Oram [center] with Dr. Laura Morgan-Roberts, Committee Member [left] and Dr .Elizabeth Holloway [right], Committee Chair, Yellow Springs, Ohio, 2016

Dissertation Committee:

  • Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Laura Morgan-Roberts, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Harriet Schwartz, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Sandie Turner, Ph.D., External Reader


introvert, introversion, extraversion, extravert, grounded theory, leadership, leader identity, emergent leader, leadership development, positive identity, positive organizational scholarship, individual difference, positive psychology, personality

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Leadership scholar-practitioners must create a more sustainable, diverse, and equitable future, fostering emergence and development of resilient, competent leaders, including those who may have been previously overlooked.Leadership studies, particularly those situated in early trait and behavior paradigms, have long privileged extraverted leaders as ideal.The scholarly conversation is limited on introverted leaders; moreover, most of that literature depicts introversion as either a pathological construct associated with shyness and social anxiety, or includes introversion only by omission, as a state of deficit-of-extraversion.This study instead began with positive inquiry, framing introversion as a positive individual difference, and explored the lived experiences of introverted leaders.This research coalesced perspectives from positive psychology, positive identity at work, and positive organizational scholarship to inquire into introversion as a positive leadership construct.In this constructivist grounded theory study, leaders who identified as introverts and who reported introversion typology on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) were asked to reflect on their experiences of introversion, leadership identity development, and professional and personal pursuits.From the amassed data emerged three theoretical propositions.First, enacting leadership has significant costs for an introverted leader’s energy and identity.Second, an introverted leader must adopt a conscious learning orientation to leadership development, including experimentation with possible leader identities.Third, effective introverted leadership is dependent on understanding the powerful intersectionality of introversion, relationship, and identity.This dissertation is available in open access at AURA, and OhioLink ETD Center,


Leatrice Oram, Ph.D.

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Leatrice has been working in higher education for nearly 30 years, with expertise in academic affairs, student services, and admissions.She currently serves as Associate Provost at Antioch University New England.Prior to earning her doctorate, she completed a yearlong Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Wellesley Institute, a leadership development program for women in higher education.

She holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch M.A. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Teachers College Columbia University, and a B.A. in Romance Languages and Literature from University of Chicago.