Stan Wayne Vinson, Ph.D. is a 2011 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dissertation Committee

  • Mitchell Kusy, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Alan E. Guskin, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Larry Lovrien, J.D., External Reader


leadership, community banking, South Dakota, quantitative, leadership development, Great Plains States banking, telephone surveys, demographics, corporate social responsibility, banks, financial institutions, slow growth state

Document Type


Publication Date



This dissertation asks the question, “What are the challenges of developing a leadership program in community banks in South Dakota, a slow growth environment?” The research looks at the intersection of leadership development, transformational leadership, and context—against a backdrop of community banking, corporate social responsibility, and demographic trends in South Dakota. The objective of the study is to provide theoretical and practical understanding of leadership development activities in South Dakota community banks. Using quantitative methods, seven hypotheses were created and tested using insights gained from reviewed literature and informational interviews that framed the study. The hypotheses were built looking to understand the drivers that shaped leadership development at community banks in the state and the relative importance of leadership programs in these organizations. In development of the study, a survey instrument was designed and administered via telephone to 80 community banks in South Dakota. Findings fall into three broad categories that form the thinking of community bankers in the state. First, data suggest that the topic of leadership development is growing in importance to community bank executives, boards of directors, and human resource managers in these organizations. Second, the need for succession planning and the challenges of finding new leadership for rural locations appear to be catalysts for creating leadership development programs in community banks in the state. Third, South Dakota banks characterize themselves, their culture, and their leadership by being defined as community banks. Many community banks in South Dakota are in need of renewal and recognize they cannot continue operating as they have in the past. Facing demographic challenges and having to own up to new regulations and increased competition has left them struggling to develop new leadership. Conversely, from survey data collected, it would appear that there is recognition that leadership development is important and building a self-renewing organization is critical for survival. Some South Dakota community bankers have begun this process and are looking for common ground on which to build shared values that are appealing to the next generation of leaders. The electronic version of this dissertation is accessible at the OhioLINK ETD Center,