Deborah A. Fredericks, Ph.D. is a 2009 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
- Laurien Alexandre, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Carolyn Kenny, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Sherwin Davidson, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Gerri Perreault, Ph.D., External Reader
Relational Leadership, Friendship, Phenomenology, Relational Cultural Theory, Positive Work Relationships, Women Leaders, Leadership as Friendship, Nonprofit
There are many ways to lead others, all of which involve a relationship among parties. However, the heartbeat of leadership may be a leader's relational sensibility. This research explored the leader's experience of relational leadership and the extent to which the metaphor of leadership as friendship described its qualities. It also explored whether actual friendship between leaders and followers was possible with this form of leadership. The topic of relational leadership was approached through a hermeneutic phenomenological methodology to explore the lived experiences of six women leaders. Their experience of relational leadership and the degree to which the metaphor of leadership as friendship represented their experience was the vantage point for this study. Using an inverted pyramid structure, in-depth interviews were conducted in three rounds consisting of six, three, and two participants for a total of 11 interviews. This research augments the leadership literature by describing the leader's experience of relational leadership and the degree to which the metaphor of leadership as friendship captures its qualities. This research concluded that leaders can, and do, find ways to lead with friends, to lead with characteristics one finds in friendship, or both. It demonstrated that leaders can have actual friendships (with each other and with their followers or subordinates), provided boundaries are maintained. The electronic version of this dissertation is available in the OhioLINK ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Fredericks, D. A. (2009). The Leader's Experience of Relational Leadership: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of Leadership as Friendship. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/651