Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Willis Furtwengler

Committee Member

William Edmonds


administrative teams, group behavior, group culture, leadership, motivation, self-actualization


A recent study of 831 companies around the world found that employees on average tend to spend 54% of their time working within teams (Frey et al., 2013). Today, this number is estimated to be an additional four to six percent higher (Gallup, 2020). Despite the upward trend of increased reliance on team-based structures in effort to improve productivity and boost morale, research reveals approximately two-thirds of U.S. employees are not engaged in their workplace (Gallup, 2020). More than half (51%) of workers merely go through the motions of their job, barely meeting minimum position responsibilities. However, leadership is essential to creating and sustaining high-performing teams (Perkins, 2017; Sparks, 2019; Sparks & Repede, 2016). A manager or a team leader appears to have the potential to influence a productive group culture and ultimately greater team success. The researcher carried out a correlational study that focused on team leaders’ self-actualization (Maslow, 1943) and the culture of their teams (Bion, 1961). The main purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between self-actualized leaders and high-performing (Dynamic) team cultures. The study also looked to see if specific leadership motivation drives related to specific team cultures (Power-Dependent; Achievement-Detached and Affiliation-Dramatic)

An analysis of the data revealed a significant positive correlation between the leaders’ self-actualization and the leaders’ dynamic group cultures, r = .202, p < .05. Positive correlations were also found between the leaders’ motivation drives of achievement and the corresponding Detached culture, r = .347, p < .01, as well as power motivational drives and their teams’ Dependent cultures, r = .489, p < .01. The study also found a significant negative correlation between the leaders’ affirmation motivational drive and the teams’ Dramatic culture, r = -.186, p < .05. Together, these correlations provide evidence that the leaders’ self-actualization and primary motivations are related to their teams’ group culture. The current study results add to the extant literature on how leadership behavior may influence team performance.