Can we create the ‘being’ of leadership? A mixed-methods study of two leadership pedagogies at a southwestern, U.S. university

Elissa A. Adame, Sarah J. Tracy, Sophia Town, Megan Towles, Robert Razzante, Cristopher Tietsort, Jessica Kamrath, Louise Clark, Rikki Tremblay, Jonathan Pettigrew, Matthew Donovan, Katie Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The leadership crisis globally, and in the U.S. specifically, draws concern for educators, leadership professionals, and organizations at large. This study evaluates two ways of teaching leadership courses in higher education: a conventional approach where students learn epistemological knowledge and apply such knowledge to case studies, and an ontological, phenomenological, phronetic, transformative (OPPT-in) approach that asks students to practice the being of leadership. Each OPPT-in student was paired with a conventional student as well as a professional role player in a leadership simulation scenario. External auditors evaluated video recordings of the simulation to determine each student’s hireability for a job requiring leadership skills. OPPT-in students were selected as hireable for a job requiring leadership more often than the conventional students. Qualitative data suggest that this may be due to differences in students’ relational invitations, request-making, task ignition, collaborator enlistment, and forthrightness in apologizing for work undone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-304
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially supported by the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics Faculty Fellow Program and The Transformation Project?both at Arizona State University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 National Communication Association.


  • Leadership pedagogy
  • OPPT-in approach
  • human resources
  • simulation
  • standardized patient methodology


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