A Mixed Methods Study on Role of Leadership in Developing a Collaborative Culture as Perceived by Employees

Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

Sherry Abernathy

Committee Member

Kathy Richie

Committee Member

Natalya Koehler


Organizations rely on their employees to collaborate to achieve their strategic goals. This study identified the critical leadership characteristics for creating a collaborative culture from employees’ perspectives. There is limited literature on employee perspectives regarding the leadership characteristics essential to creating a collaborative culture. The study used a mixed-methods exploratory sequential design, soliciting participants from a public agency to identify the critical leadership characteristics necessary to create a collaborative culture to assist in allocating limited resources. The overarching research question was, “What are the key leadership characteristics for leaders in developing a collaborative culture in a small public water agency from the employees’ perspective?” The researcher utilized a qualitative survey instrument, structured interviews with managers, and a quantitative survey requesting employees to rank critical leadership characteristics. The qualitative and quantitative surveys focused on managerial and non-managerial employees at the research site. The structured interviews were with managerial employees. This study was limited to one organization, but it will be helpful for other organizations to understand how their leaders can create a collaborative culture and allocate their resources effectively. The study fills the gap in the literature on employee perspectives regarding the leadership characteristics essential to developing a collaborative culture. The findings provide insight to leaders on their role in building a collaborative culture from the employees’ perspective.