Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Kieran M. Killeen



Leadership consultants bring specialized knowledge into their clients'

organizations. Advisor leadership consultants (ALC) trained as psychotherapists

apply concepts from human behavior theories as advisors to business leaders. They

also bring service-oriented professional norms and values of objectivity, neutrality,

and lack of self-interest. Their business clients in the market sector operate

according to norms and values of pragmatism, financial self-interest, and advocacy.

In order to establish credibility in the organizational field of business clients,

leadership consultants must negotiate between these different value systems.

This study is a grounded theory inquiry using narrative analysis tools to

study how ALCs navigate across the boundaries of psychotherapy practice and

consultation in the corporate setting. How do they describe their practice choices as

well as the principles and theoretical framework underlying those choices? In-depth

interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 10 leadership consultants

credentialed and experienced as psychotherapists. A snowball method of participant

recruitment from my social and professional network yielded a group of 10 ALCs

aged 50 to 86.

Each of these ALCs entered their careers with a predisposition for business

from their families. They each experienced significant loss in early life and followed

divergent educational and career pathways. They have built their leadership

consulting practices accepting business practices to gain access to clients while

incorporating important relationship principles. As institutional entrepreneurs, they

managed conflict with values in both the service and the marketplace sectors

through innovative therapy, consulting and business practices.



Number of Pages

218 p.