School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration


Gene Sullivan


Development, Leadership, Servant, Succession


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods | Operations and Supply Chain Management | Other Business


The development of high-performing employees with the potential to assume leadership roles remains a vital exercise for organizations. Public and private sector organizations of all sizes have implemented programs focused on developing the next generation of leaders. The researcher explored the issue of how a national service industry organization is experiencing varied levels of success of leader development in the case of geographically dispersed mid-level procurement managers in the trucking logistics group. Guided by elements of successful leader development programs, the purpose of this collective qualitative case study was to discover the common issues and factors that lead to success or failure in the application of leader development programs. The study was primarily informed by structured participant interviews with current managers and potential successors across multiple offices within the group. Organizational artifacts were reviewed, and member checking was conducted for validation and to establish reliability. The findings of the study suggested that the leadership style of the manager was an important component of leader development programs. Organizations may benefit from implementing practices that encourage servant and visionary leadership behaviors in current and future managers as a means to cascade the positive effects of these styles throughout the organization. Further, there is a similarity between the servant leadership style demonstrated by Jesus and the outcome on His disciples, and that of applying a servant leader approach to developing next generation leaders in organizations.