Research Projects

At the Leadership Learning Research Center, we strive to produce high-quality research related to the teaching, learning, pedagogy, and practice of leadership. We believe this work is vital to the understanding of leadership in society, as well as in setting future directions for policy, practice, and additional scholarly pursuits.

While each of our research staff members have their own philosophies, theories, conceptualizations, biases, and methodological preferences related to scholarly inquiry, our current projects focus on the modern landscape of leadership programs, how undergraduates embody social change leadership values, cultural relevance in leadership learning, leadership learning through social media, and the impact of leadership learning on certificate alumni. We disseminate our results and findings through publications in scholarly journals; presentations at regional, national, and international conferences; and invited speaking engagements. For brief descriptions of our ongoing projects, please see the following sections.

Socially Responsible Leadership Scale

The proposed research purpose is to explore undergraduate student involvement in specific programs offered by the Center for Leadership & Social Change at Florida State University.
 
This project is descriptive in nature, as well as exploratory in the sense of learning outcomes that the CLSC has created as guiding principles to their work. Descriptive research questions include: What are the demographics of students participating in CLSC programs? For students involved in several CLSC programs, what is the point of entry for CLSC programs?  Exploratory research questions include: Do students learn about essential practices of leadership as a result of CLSC programs? Do participants and leaders of specific programs have different learning outcomes?
 
The methodology of this study utilizes mixed methods with the use of survey and focus group. The research design for this study includes a pre and post survey and a follow-up focus group for each pre-identified CLSC program involved. A pre-test survey will be collected for students involved in the pre-determined CLSC program prior to involvement.
 
The survey being used for the pre-test and post-test is titled the Socially Responsible Leader Scale and was developed by Dr. Tracy Tyree from the University of South Florida. This scale is widely used as an assessment in leadership development programs in higher education. The data analysis will include descriptive analysis, as well as, open coding and axial coding to connect the multiphase data collection.

Undergraduate Leadership Certificate Alumni Research Project

The proposed research purpose is to explore the contributions that participation in the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies at Florida State University make to program alumni’s post-college (academic and occupational) outcomes
 
This project is largely descriptive in nature, as well as exploratory in the identification of the academic / occupational outcomes participants indicate as being related to the knowledge, skills, and perspectives acquired while in the LDR certificate program. Descriptive research questions include: What are the academic / occupational demographics of alumni that had participated in the LDR Certificate? Are there differences in outcomes for students that successfully completed the certificate as compared to those that might have completed some LDR classes, but not the entire certificate? Exploratory research questions include: Do LDR Alumni attribute progress toward their academic & career goals to their participation in the LDR Certificate? Do LDR Alumni utilize learning from their participation in the LDR Certificate in their career and personal lives?

The methodology of this study is primarily qualitative involving the use of personal interview. The research design for this study includes semi-structured interviews for LDR certificate alumni. Interviews will be conducted for FSU Alumni that had successfully completed the LDR certificate during their undergraduate enrollment to determine how their participation might have affected the formulation, attainment and reflections on their post-college academic and career goals. The project is in the third round of data collection and analysis.

Culturally Relevant Leadership Learning

The proposed research purpose is to explore how underrepresented students experience leadership learning.  Since White men have constructed most traditional leadership theories, this research project will explore how diverse students experience learning leadership in classroom environments.

Qualitative in nature, this study will employ focus groups and one-on-one interviews to capture the experiences of Black and Latino/a/x undergraduate participants. Participants must have taken classes in the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies program.

Producing Leadership in the Digital Age

This research would come from the students in the FSU Leadership in the Digital Age Course. This study would seek to understand the course experiences of past students, both as they were enrolled through document analysis, as well as after in individual interviews. The intent is to improve on the course, digital leadership education and gain a deeper understanding of the needs of students as it relates to empowering leadership education through social media tools.

This project will be descriptive in nature, as well as exploratory in the identification of the manner in which students do/do not develop identities around being a leader in an online/digital context. The methodology of this study is primarily qualitative, involving the use of personal interviews and document analysis. The research design for this study includes semi-structured interviews with students who have completed the Leadership in the Digital Age course to obtain feedback, improve on the course, and gain greater insight into the process of digital leadership education as well as deepen our understanding of the needs of students related to empowering leadership education through social media tools.

The LDA research team is composed of Dr. Kathy Guthrie (supervising researcher), Dr. Josie Ahlquist, Mr. V. Chunoo, Mr. Joshua Guffey, and Mr. Connor Jones.

Academic Leadership Programs in the United States Project

The Academic Leadership Programs in the United States project seeks to extend our knowledge on academic leadership programs in hopes to understand our current state and our future. We have released a report to share preliminary analysis conducted by the Leadership Learning Research Center of data from the International Leadership Association’s (ILA) Leadership Program Directory (ILA, 2016) and data captured from institutional websites detailing program type, courses, and descriptions. This information provides demographic descriptive data of leadership-related programs in the United States.

This study implemented a descriptive analysis of the data contained in the ILA Leadership Program Directory database and additional data collected through Leadership Learning Research Center (LLRC) research of program websites. The International Leadership Association provided access to the full content of the database to the LLRC staff at Florida State University for the purpose of this project. The ILA Leadership Program Directory contains a wealth of information about leadership programs in the United States and internationally. The data from this study represents academic, for-credit curricular programs in the United States who self-selected to list their organizations in the ILA directory and data captured from research completed by the LLRC from academic program websites, including information about program mission and vision, course sequencing, program history, and program contact information. The current directory hosts 1,558 academic programs included from United States institutions of higher education (ILA, 2016).

The next phase of the Academic Leadership Programs in the United States project will include exploring the disciplines represented in the dataset, the structuring of courses in the programs, and institution and program mission and visions.

View Report

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