Greta Creech, Ph.D. is a 2021 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Greta Creech at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Aqeel Tirmizi, Committee Member, Dr. Elizabeth Holloway, Committee Chair, Dr. Jan Goldman, Committee Member

Dissertation Committee

  • Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Aqeel Tirmizi, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Jan Goldman, Ed.D., Committee Member


toxic workplace behavior, toxic leadership, grounded theory, situational analysis, intelligence community, national security

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The U.S. intelligence community is a critical mission industry responsible for protecting lives and safety in ways that impact the global security environment. Research on the deleterious impact of toxic workplace behavior on other critical mission fields, such as health care and the U.S. military, is robust. However, intelligence scholars publishing within the unclassified arena have been silent on the phenomenon, how personnel respond to it, and how it may impact the intelligence function. This lack of scholarship has afforded an opportunity to understand what constitutes toxic behavior in the intelligence environment and how it may affect U.S. national security objectives. This study presents a theoretical model of response to toxic workplace behavior among intelligence officers in the U.S. intelligence community that centers on a single goal: Holding Self. Using grounded theory methodology and situational analysis in two segments, the study examines how intelligence officers responded and the role that efforts to hold onto self-concepts played in those responses. The findings included three psychological dimensions, three action dimensions, and two inter-dimensions of response. The findings also included identification of the broader ecological situation conditioning response and how those choices operationalized into the business of being intelligence officers. The final model serves as a foundation for future empirical research on the topic. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive,, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


Greta Creech

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0001-7215-1746

Greta E. Creech, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in Leadership and Change from Antioch University in Ohio (USA) in 2021. She leveraged a 20-year career leading U.S. intelligence teams at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and in broader national security roles at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in her studies. In her dissertation, Dr. Creech explored the sociopsychological reasons for response to toxic workplace behavior among U.S. intelligence officers and the impact of those response patterns on the intelligence mission. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina). She also consults with senior leaders of U.S.-based start-ups and high-growth businesses on strategic planning and workforce development through her firm, Tundra Star, LLC. Ms. Creech is the recipient of 13 professional awards, including NGA’s agency-wide “Program Office Administration Exemplary Leadership Award.”