Intentional Practice of Shared Leadership in the Marketplace by Christian Leaders: A Multi-case Study

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Intentional Practice of Shared Leadership in the Marketplace by Christian Leaders: A Multi-case Study

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Title: Intentional Practice of Shared Leadership in the Marketplace by Christian Leaders: A Multi-case Study
Author: Davis, Michael Larry
Advisor: Wilder, Michael S. Parker, Shane W.



Michael Larry Davis, Ed.D.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014

Chair: Michael S. Wilder

In light of the biblical roots of shared leadership it is difficult to understand the

lack of research related to the practice of shared leadership by Christian business leaders

in the marketplace. Although research of shared leadership has been robust since its

emergence in the last quarter-century, little or no research of shared leadership by

Christian leaders existed before this study. Designed as a qualitative multiple case study,

this thesis explores the practice of shared leadership in three cases for the express purpose

of discovering best practices for shared leadership in the marketplace by Christian

leaders. Although the enterprises studied are not necessarily described as Christian

companies, all clearly understand their existence as a tool for living out the Gospel in the


I isolated ten established best practices of shared leadership through the

literature review. Through case observation, personal interviews, and document

collection, the established best practices were validated for each site. Additionally, five

unique best practices for shared leadership by Christian marketplace leaders were

identified. Christian marketplace leaders who practice shared leadership:

1. Seek to enrich the lives of all stakeholders as a primary purpose of the enterprise by

providing good paying jobs for employees, exceptional service to customers, and a

fair profit for owners and stockholders.

2. Encourage stakeholders to embrace biblical discipleship practices in leadership by

honoring God in their work and by treating others as they wish to be treated.

3. Seek to support corporate as well as biblical values by articulating a biblical view of


4. Leverage the value of people for the common good of employees, customers, and

other stakeholders.

5. Expect stakeholders to embrace and live out biblical virtues.

Chapter 1 introduces the research problem, its theological foundation, and

practical significance. It also defines the research question while plotting the study's

limitations. Chapter 2 examines the precedent literature and recounts the history of shared

leadership as it emerged from antecedent forms of leadership. Chapter 3 presents the

research design, defines the population, establishes the selection criteria, and outlines the

instrumentation. Chapter 4 analyzes the findings, while chapter 5 presents my

conclusions. The study's ultimate aim is to enrich the literature base by acknowledging

the biblical foundations of shared leadership and the natural inclination of Christian

business leaders to practice shared leadership as a result of their Christian faith.

Date: 2015-03-31

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