College Women's Conceptualization of Effective Leadership: A Four Year Qualitative Study
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In this study, I explore female students’ conceptualizations of effective leadership attending a selective, Midwestern liberal arts college. Using interviews from a four year longitudinal study, 17 female college students’ conceptualizations of effective leadership were coded guided by the consensual qualitative research framework. Students’ perceptions of effective leadership were assessed and categorized using the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire scale. In this study, themes from first year responses to fourth year responses are compared, looking at whether women change their beliefs about what skills an effective leader should possess over the course of four years. The two questions pertinent to the analysis in this study included (1) Which skills do you believe an effective leader should possess and (2) Which skills do you currently possess that might help you to manage, supervise, or train others effectively?