Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Dorothy M. Hanson


Education and training of potential leaders are essential, and chief executive officers (CEOs) need to identify effective leadership development (LD) programs that foster successful leaders within the healthcare industry. The purpose of this multiple, exploratory case study was to explore LD strategies used by CEOs in hospitals in Central Florida, United States. The overarching research question investigated what executable LD strategies healthcare leaders needed to ensure sustainable growth and successful leaders. The human capital theory and the concepts of emotional intelligence and spiritual leadership guided this study. A purposive sample of 8 CEOs participated in semistructured face-to-face interviews to elicit information on their strategies of creating and maintaining LD programs. A review of organizational documents, as well as member checking of initial interview transcripts, helped to strengthen the credibility of final interpretations. Data were tracked and organized with the assistance of qualitative data analysis software which was used to transcribe and analyze the data. The resulting themes include strategies CEOs use for LD, challenges CEOs face in LD programs, environment of care, generational leadership, and benefits of LD. Study recommendations offered strategies for creating LD programs in the healthcare industry. These findings demonstrate the necessity for effective LD programs and may influence social change by uncovering strategies for LD within the healthcare industry and help CEOs understand LD strategies for implementation within their organizations.