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Dissertation Abstract

An Examination of the Role of Forgiveness in the Leadership Practices of Women Leaders in Higher Education

Beverlyn Grace-Odeleye
Regent University

The purpose of this study is to examine and describe the use of interpersonal forgivenes in the leadership practices of women leaders in higher education. The primary data were gathered from six participants who were purposively selected. A case study methodology was used for this study with an interview guide developed specifically to examine the use of forgiveness in the leadership practices of women leaders. The study utilized cross-case analysis by grouping together answers from different participants to discover meaning and interpreting themes. The evidence found that these six participants defined forgiveness as choosing and making a decision to reduce negative thoughts such as blame and anger. Recognizing the problem, identifying the nature of the problem, and addressing the problem were identified as steps in the process of forgiveness. Growth producing experiences and improved relationships were cited as benefits of utilizing forgiveness. Working through conflict in a positive manner was the reason that these women utilized forgiveness in their leadership practices. Modeling the behavior and mentoring others were approaches used to demonstrate the purpose and meaning of forgiveness. All six participants identified a mentor as a person who utilized forgiveness .The participants identified females as utilizing forgiveness in their leadership practices more than males because females are interested in maintaining relationships. Results of this study were not generalized beyond these six participants. However, this study contributed new information to the field of forgiveness and women leadership practices. This study provides insights into the actions and behaviors that these participants utilized when exercising forgiveness in leadership practices.