Reynolds, Kae (2013) Gender differences in messages of commencement addresses delivered by Fortune 1000 business Leaders. Doctoral thesis, Gonzaga University.

The purpose of this study was to make inferences from the rhetoric of prominent U.S. business leaders at U.S. universities and colleges in order to determine relationships between constructs of leadership and decision-making. Using servant-leadership and the ethic of care as an analytical basis, this study explored gender differences in messages from commencement addresses. This study expands research by employing a mixed methods design for content analysis guided by a post-positivist epistemological worldview. In addition, the study enhanced knowledge of servant-leadership through a feminist perspective. Results of the quantitative analysis indicated a significant relationship in the use of language related to servant-leadership and ethic of care. Overall, few gender differences could be confirmed. The qualitative analysis revealed gender differences in constructions of servant-leadership and the ethic of care. Furthermore, the interpretive reading showed that those leaders who explicitly addressed the subject of leadership tended to include more expressions of servant-leadership in their constructions. The social significance of this study consists primarily in fostering the development of richer theoretical constructs toward gender-integrative models of leadership.

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email