Honors College Thesis


A Study of the Impact of Core Values on Leadership Development and Performance in Military Trainees Public Deposited

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  • Organizational values are an important factor in the work of many organizations and can guide both day-to-day decision-making and long-term strategic planning. Little previous research has documented the impact of core values on individual performance in military environments nor the effect of core values on leadership attributes. In this study, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) trainees completed a survey asking about their comprehension and application of the U.S. Air Force core values, their perception of personal leadership attributes, and to self-report performance measures used in AFROTC. Correlational analyses conducted on the data revealed that comprehension of organizational values had few statistically significant relationships with leadership attributes and no relationships with performance. Application of organizational values was found to be highly correlated with leadership attributes and had one relationship with performance (physical fitness). The length of time exposed to core values had no relationships with the level of comprehension or application of values, only one relationship with leadership attributes (delegation), and no relationships with performance. These findings indicate that simply comprehending organizational values is not enough to have a major impact on leadership skills or performance and that opportunities to apply values may be more important in developing leadership skills. However, practitioners should be aware of the possibility that neither comprehension nor application of values has a large-scale influence on individual performance in this training context. The results also emphasize the importance of physical fitness in a military environment. Organizational leaders, both military and civilian, can use these findings to guide the development and evaluation of training programs.
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