Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Chester Erickson


Collaboration and collaborative leadership are terms used often in current leadership language. Whether in private or public enterprises, collaboration has become a "catch word" that elicits ideas of shared ownership and effective problem solving. Collaborative leadership could be a "stand alone" leadership style or it could incorporate other leadership styles to prove most effective. The manner in which it is used depends, in part, on who is using it and for what purpose. Jane Addams, a progressive leader in the early twentieth century, used collaborative leadership effectively in her social change efforts. Together with Julia Lathrop, Florence Kelley, Alice Hamilton and Lillian Wald, Addams campaigned for and initiated significant social change which has become part of the fabric of our lives. The examples of vision, self-awareness, knowledge, pragmatism, communication and compassion demonstrated by Addams and her closest associates help successfully define collaborative leadership. This historical case study of pioneers of collaboration will be used to not only define what it means to be a successful collaborative leader but it will also serve to introduce these pioneers of social change to younger generations, Jane Addams, founder of Hull House settlement, and her contemporaries, Julia Lathrop, Alice Hamilton, Florence Kelley and Lillian Wald, worked for social change through and with many social entities. The retelling of the leadership challenges and successes they experienced will serve to define collaborative leadership at its best.


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