Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Norma C Noonan

Second Advisor

Daniel S Hanson

Third Advisor

Clarice Staff


Employee turnover is costly to organizations. Leadership and career development opportunities can be instrumental in retaining employees. This exploratory, qualitative study uses content analysis to explore the practices and perceptions of administrator leaders who work in public, non-profit institutions of higher education in terms of the development of the self-leadership skills and talents of their employees, and whether the theory of SuperLeadership and the practice of talent management are used by the administrator leaders in this study. After interviewing eleven administrator leaders, the following three themes emerged about their practices and perceptions of developing and retaining their staff: 1) demonstrating leadership, including a description of leadership practices and how they perceive their employees demonstrate leadership potential;2) encouraging self-leadership; and 3) retaining talented employees. The administrator leaders in this study practiced SuperLeadership; however, no formal talent management system was used in their workplaces. A formal talent management system could be beneficial to communicate a standard for talent and self-leadership skills. Implications for staff leadership in institutions of higher education are discussed. The need for future research is also discussed.


SC 11.MAL.2007.Anders.KL