Association Journals

Study on the leadership Identity Development of Japanese University Students

IZUMITANI Michiko(Matsuyama University)

YASUNO Maiko(Yokohama National University)

Although there have been a number of leadership programs being established in Japanese higher education institutes within a past decade,there are few programs based on understandings of Japanese students’ leadership identity development. On the contrary,leadership development programs in the U.S are usually designed based upon leadership theories and models that provide leadership educators with tools and guides for curricular and program design,and assessment practices. One of such leadership models is called the Leadership Identity Development Model. The model presents a framework for understanding how individual college students develop the social identity of being collaborative,relational leaders interdependently engaging in leadership as a group process. In this stage-based model,leadership identity moves from a positional hierarchical view to one that embraces leadership as a collaborative,shared process. The purpose of our study is to understand the processes a Japanese student experiences in creating leadership identity. As done in the original study by Komives and others in 2005,we interviewed students and recent college graduates who were considered to demonstrate elements of the Relational Leadership Model such as inclusiveness,empowerment,ethics,purposefulness,and process orientation. Eight students and 4 recent college graduates from 4 different universities participated in the study. The experiences and reflections recorded in the interview were examined using grounded theory method in order to identify influences and involvement that help to form their leadership identities. The emergent grounded theory revealed 5 categories including the key category of leadership identity with 5 stages that are Awareness,Exploration/Engagement,Leader Identified,Leadership Differentiated,and Leadership Expansion.

Keyword : leadership identity, developmental stage, college student