Toward a grounded theory of trigger events and leadership development in early adulthood
Hess, Daniel G.
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The purpose of this research study was to develop a conceptual model through the use of a grounded theory approach, which explains how trigger events are related to leadership development. Trigger events are experience that cause developmental growth and may result in an increased ability to lead (Luthans and Avolio (2003). In this study, there were two phases of data collection. First participants completed the Washington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT), where their respective leadership developmental stage was measured. Second, participants were involved in two in-depth interviews where an understanding was reached as to how various trigger events have impacted their leadership development. From these data, a conceptual model was developed to explain the relationship between trigger events and leadership development. Participants described trigger events as being important developmental periods, during which time they grew as people and became more capable leaders.