Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Rosemary Link, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Vickie Olson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lyla Campbell


What motivates an individual to become a leader? Why do individuals want to influence and provide direction to others? What drives someone to be part of the leadership process? It is these questions that present the framework of this study.

More specifically, this grounded theory study will analyze the factors that motivate an individual to become a leader based on: Janet Hagberg's Leadership Model, the various writings of psychologist Abraham H. Maslow, and the data gathered from qualitative interviews with the Augsburg MAL Alumni.

This study used the grounded theory research model for data collection, coding, logging, and analysis, as well as, to facilitate the discovery and emergence of patterns and themes. Six common patterns and themes emerged from the data of Maslow, Hagberg, and the MAL. One of the patterns, a Leadership Profile, emerged which details the characteristics and attributes of a leader, as well as, how leaders go about getting things done. Five additional patterns and themes - vision, purpose, relationships, curiosity, and creativity - emerged that provide insight into what motivates someone to be a leader.


SC 11.MAL.2000.Wetzel.RA