Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Daniel Hanson

Second Advisor

David Lapakko


There is a generally accepted expectation that leaders should play a significant role in integrating an organization's vision statement and strategic direction with its culture. Depending upon the organization the author of the vision statement could be the owner, the board of directors or CEO, or other senior leaders or consultants. In any case, because the vision statement is typically disseminated top down, the distance from the statement's author to those who actually do the work is great. This can be especially true in large organizations with hierarchical structures. To bridge that gap, senior leaders depend upon leaders at the front-line to carry the message. This study addresses the relationship between a front-line leader's communication skills and practices and the integration of vision, culture and strategy into employee perceptions. Two executive level leaders from one business line within an organlzation, along with five staff employees from the same business line participated in phenomenological interviews. Results provide empirical support that employees view vision, culture and strategy from the perspective of their work and the everyday interactions with their leader. The study also provides some evidence that frontline leader's communication skills affect the perception of vision, strategy and culture.


SC 11.MAL.2009.Peter.PA