Developing a leadership identity: A grounded theory

Susan R. Komives, Julie E. Owen, Susan D. Longerbeam, Felicia C. Mainella, Laura Osteen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


This grounded theory study on developing a leadership identity revealed a 6-stage developmental process. The thirteen diverse students in this study described their leadership identity as moving from a leader-centric view to one that embraced leadership as a collaborative, relational process. Developing a leadership identity was connected to the categories of developmental influences, developing self, group influences, students changing view of self with others, and students' broadening view of leadership. A conceptual model illustrating the grounded theory of developing a leadership identity is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-611
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of College Student Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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