Date of Conferral



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




Gwendolyn Dooley


Business leaders struggle with the application of appropriate leadership models to retain stakeholder trust. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of mortgage and investment leaders and stakeholders on applying various leadership models to restore stakeholder trust. Stakeholder and stewardship theories formed the conceptual framework of this study. A purposive sample of 20 stakeholders from the investments and mortgage industry in central Colorado participated in semistructured interviews. The research questions were on a leader's application of various leadership traits to restore stakeholder trust. Six themes emerged following coding and reduction using a modified van Kaam approach: (a) benevolence, (b) transparency, (c) humility, (d) approachability, (e) authenticity, and (f) personality. The themes were consistent with transformative leadership traits and satisfied stakeholder affective needs for trust. These findings may be applicable to mortgage and investment business leaders who adopt a transformative leadership approach; such leaders may find an ethically sustainable leadership style that facilitates follower commitment and organizational change, reduces turnover, improves performance, and strengthens social relationships. Stakeholders may find that business leaders who adopt a transformative leadership approach may eventually commit to long-term wealth creation, maintain near-congruent values, and avoid self-serving behaviors.