Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Therapy
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College of Health Care Sciences – Occupational Therapy Department
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Nova Southeastern University
Scott Truskowski. 2017. Leadership within Occupational Therapy : A Mixed Methods Study. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, College of Health Care Sciences – Occupational Therapy Department. (60)
PURPOSE: This sequential embedded mixed methods study first identified the ways in which occupational therapy leaders experience leadership, then explored the ways in which those same leaders utilized their professional training as occupational therapists within their practice of leadership. METHODS: The twelve participants held formal leadership positions in either academia, clinical practice, or professional associations. The ecology of human performance model of practice was utilized to frame the research study. Data was collected through an initial interview with all 12 participants and through leadership artifacts and a second interview with six participants. RESULTS: Three themes resulted from thematic analysis of initial interview: leadership journey, leadership deconstructed, and personal approach to leadership. The leadership artifacts were analyzed using a coding frame, which included four dimensions: occupational perspective of leadership, connections, leadership approach, and team mindset. Thematic analysis of the second round of interviews resulted in three themes: how they do leadership, leadership interaction, and reflection on leadership action. CONCLUSIONS: The participants described the construct of leader as a role consisting of contextually discrete leadership occupations. A number of parallels were identified between the practice of occupational therapy and the practice of leadership. The development of a personal leadership identity was found to occur over time and required some form of either internal or external recognition of leadership ability or outcome. The structure of this mixed methods design included a combination of two qualitative methods, which was novel to the occupational therapy literature.