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“King of the Forest”
Courage in Leadership
   Research Proposal


     Sherri Orwick Ogden
          ORGD604
        May 4...
Introduction

        What does it take to be “King of the Forest?” What is at the heart of a great leader?

Studies indic...
Definition of Courage

       In order to measure courage in leadership, courage must be defined. Research does not

agree...
Grumman is a global security company with a profitable track record and a reputation for

effective leadership. The compan...
a. Is the leadership style participatory?

                   b. Is the leadership effective?

                   c. What ...
Phase Two
       Qualitative interview questions are generated designed to address discrepancies or

confusing results fro...
The observation results are coded and tallied to determine how often leaders behaved

courageously in a three-day period a...
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Diagnostic Model Research Proposal

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Diagnostic Model Research Proposal

  1. 1. “King of the Forest” Courage in Leadership Research Proposal Sherri Orwick Ogden ORGD604 May 4, 2009 1|Page
  2. 2. Introduction What does it take to be “King of the Forest?” What is at the heart of a great leader? Studies indicate good leadership encompasses the typical characteristics such as decisiveness, confidence, interaction with followers, etc. However, research also indicates a move toward participatory leadership. Many of the qualities required to be a successful participatory leader are also required of a courageous leader. The purpose of this research study is to show that courageous behavior is necessary for a participatory leader to be effective. Previous studies have shown courage is important in leadership, but have not proven courage is an integral component of participatory leadership. Many types of organizations can benefit from this study. Results will provide leaders the opportunity to learn the behaviors associated with courageous leadership and enable them to compare the elements of courageous behavior to their own leadership styles and leadership within their organizations. Hypothesis An effective, participatory leader must have courage. Dependent Variable The dependent variable in this hypothesis is effective, participatory leadership because it is relative to the level of courage. Independent Variable The independent variable in this hypothesis is courage. 2|Page
  3. 3. Definition of Courage In order to measure courage in leadership, courage must be defined. Research does not agree on one definition. For the purposes of this research study, courage is viewed as a behavior as opposed to a personality trait and defined as a behavior one exhibits despite a perceived risk. In order to measure the level of courage in leadership, various behaviors are identified by previous studies as integral to both courageous and participatory leadership. These behaviors and their associated elements are outlined in the “King of the Forest” (KOF) model. Sample This research study analyzes the participatory leadership and courageous behavior exhibited by executives and employees of the Northrop Grumman Corporation. Northrop 3|Page
  4. 4. Grumman is a global security company with a profitable track record and a reputation for effective leadership. The company’s vision includes integrity, performance, innovation, collaboration and trust. Its values include quality products and services, customer satisfaction, integrity, respect for others, and most importantly leadership. Northrop Grumman values its leaders and believes “each employee can lead through competence, creativity and teamwork.” (http://www.northropgrumman.com/corporate-responsibility/ethics/our-vision-values-and- behaviors.html) Given their vision and values, Northrop Grumman values participatory leadership and provides a good sample to measure courage in effective, participatory leadership. Due to the large size of the corporation, this study is limited to Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Supply Chain Management division. The vice president of this division, Veasey Wilson, actively engages in and encourages participatory leadership. He oversees 800 employees, is committed to upholding the core company values, and expects all employees to do the same. Data Collection This study utilizes the mixed methods approach to confidentially collect information from all employees in the Northrop Grumman’s Supply Chain Management division. It includes employees in leadership roles and those that are not. One of the challenges in this study is ensuring truthful responses. The mixed approach incorporates both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods allowing a comparison of information to guard against inaccurate responses. In addition, an outside consultant implements the study to help minimize fear and distrust. The data collection process is separated into three phases and is designed to answer the following questions: 4|Page
  5. 5. a. Is the leadership style participatory? b. Is the leadership effective? c. What level of courageous behavior exists relative to the effectiveness of the participatory leadership? Phase One Phase One implements a quantitative survey addressing the elements in the four categories outlined in the King of the Forest (KOF) Model. Employees are asked to measure the level of these behaviors on a Likert scale. They are asked to measure their own behaviors and also those of their direct supervisors. The questions are designed to determine if the supervisees perceive the leadership in their area as participatory and whether it is effective. The survey also addresses whether the behaviors are exhibited despite a perceived risk. This is accomplished by giving examples of situations where supervisors have a choice to behave courageously and providing three behavior answer options: a) a response exemplary of a strong level of courage, an example showing a medium level of courage, and the third indicating no courage. Those surveyed are asked to choose which response is most indicative of what they believe their direct supervisor would do. Additional questions indicate whether those in leadership roles are perceived as the true leaders of the organization. In order to address possible ethical issues, a “do not wish to comment” option for each question is included. This will also help to avoid untruthful responses. The data is analyzed by the consultant to determine patterns, discrepancies, conflicts or questions. Is the leadership style participatory? Are all leaders implementing the participative management philosophy? Is leadership in the division perceived as effective? How many leaders exhibit courage in their leadership and to what extent? 5|Page
  6. 6. Phase Two Qualitative interview questions are generated designed to address discrepancies or confusing results from Phase One. The consultant interviews all employees involved in Phase One based on the interview questions generated. Employees have the option of declining the interview or not commenting on particular questions to avoid possible ethical issues. Results are recorded, coded, analyzed, and compared to the quantitative results. Do the two phases provide similar findings? Are there discrepancies between the data gathered in Phase One and the data gathered in Phase Two? Phase Three The third phase is observation. This phase allows the consultant to gather empirical data providing a cross-check between findings from Phases One and Two. The consultant observes leaders in each area for a period of three days and records courageous behaviors on a checklist of KOF elements. In a comments section of the checklist, the observer also records employee reactions to the leaders’ behaviors. Data Analysis The results of all three phases are analyzed to conclude overall the level of courage in participatory leadership of the Supply Chain management division. The questions designed to measure employees’ perceptions of participatory leadership versus answers from the leaders themselves are closely compared. The questions using the Likert scale are analyzed to provide a measure of the participatory leadership in the division. The example questions designed to measure courageous behaviors are tallied to see how answers indicate supervisors would act courageously versus the answers indicating a medium level of courage and no courage. 6|Page
  7. 7. The observation results are coded and tallied to determine how often leaders behaved courageously in a three-day period and those results are compared to the results of phase One and Two. Based on tallied measurements from all three phases, averages of courage and participatory leadership are calculated indicating the level of courage relative to the participatory leadership. 7|Page

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