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Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Roy Childs

Second Committee Member

Alan Ray

Abstract

The study examines the implications of self-leadership on occupational success among adolescents. Self-leadership is the new leadership research paradigm · that simply states that leadership skills are social cognitive characteristics developed within individuals and shaped by environment. It is linked to an individual's self-esteem, self-concept and self-efficacy. The higher a person's self-leadership skill development, the more likely an individual will succeed in life. These simple skills can be communicated and instilled in adolescents more effectively than adults because their "self" is still being created and is easily influenced by external cognitive stimulation. Three focus groups were conducted on adolescents to determine how effective self-leadership skills would be in determining effective career decision-making ability. All of the focus group transcripts were systematically analyzed. Through data analysis, a model was created that describes a process by which self-leadership influences work performance. The process begins by training self-leadership enhancement strategies. As a result, the core self, which includes self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-concept, is changed during this process. This will then allow an individual to better resist the negative influences that occur due to environmental factors. Finally, job satisfaction and work performance increase.

What is most significant about this study is its potential to influence the way teachers and counselors encourage their students to be successful both in and outside the classroom. There are currently existing modules aimed at increasing education levels and motivation in students. However, what is missing is a module designed to teach youth how to find inspiration and motivation within themselves. Also, employers who employ youth will be able to enhance current training modules by adding a self-leadership training component.

Pages

127

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