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Jeff Girton, Ph.D. is a 2019 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Girton at his Dissertation Defense.

L-R: Dr. Brandelyn Tosolt, Committee Member, Dr. Carol Baron, Committee Member, Dr. Lize Booysen, Committee Chair.

Dissertation Committee

  • Lize Booysen, DBL, Committee Chair
  • Carol Baron, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Brandelyn Tosolt, Ph.D., Committee Member

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Four decades of research on power distance have been applied to cross-cultural leadership studies on an inter-national level. A quantitative investigation was conducted to analyze a uniquely American narrative of power distance, which was developed through a post-structural epistemology. Using ANTi-History theory, endorsement of the Great Man Theory was argued to be a leadership ethos that is related to American power distance value. The GLOBE project’s Power Distance Subscale, Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner’s Achievement Versus Ascription Scale, and an author-developed scale for self-reported endorsement of the Great Man Theory was deployed to investigate culturally contingent leadership ethos on an intra-national level within a representative U.S. American sample. The study was able to validate the Social Authority Scale, using items from the Power Distance Subscale and Achievement Versus Ascription Scale. Demographic measurements of 645 participants from a convenience sample were analyzed to understand how social identity influenced this leadership construct. Significant variations were found based upon American social identities. Implications for intra-national cross-cultural leadership theory are discussed, as well as empirical and theoretical based implications for leadership practitioners. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


Jeff Girton, Ph.D.

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0003-1446-591X

Jeff Girton came to Antioch’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change because of the focus on social justice. Having previous graduate work in the field of organizational leadership and ethics, the words of Antioch’s founder, Horace Mann, to “be ashamed to die until you have won a victory for humanity” resonated deeply. His dissertation research focused on leadership through the lens of Power Distance, a cultural measurement related to inequalities of power in society and organizations.

Before coming to Antioch, Jeff has taught and advised students at Northern Kentucky University. Currently he is a lecturer in the field of organizational leadership, with hopes of further researching power distance and the practice of leadership. Previously, Jeff worked with N.K.U.’s TRiO program–a federal grant that works to increase the educational attainment of the nation’s low-income and first-generation college students.

Ten days before starting the Ph.D. program, Jeff’s daughter was born. Now that he has completed his dissertation he looks forward to teaching her how to conduct and interpret ANOVA tests and multiple linear regressions. After she masters statistics he hope to sleep in at least one day a week.