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Research Findings and Proposed Holistic Leadership Development Model

The purpose ofthis research was to study the emergence (Cenac, 2010; Macaux, 2009) of exemplary leaders (Kouzes & Posner, 1987), the expression of exemplary leadership practices based on contextually relevant leadership values and practices (Adadevoh, 2006; Gichuru, 2011; Moulton, 2010), the enhancement of exemplary leadership through sustained leadership development

(Gitsham & Downing, 2011), and its lasting effect of transformational change (Chapman, 2002) in the African context (Beugre & Offodile, 2001) through the development of Africa’s human factor (Adjibolosoo, 1995) with a bias on the process of becoming an exemplary leader, not just the practices of exemplary leaders. The holistic LD model advanced in this chapter was based on an empirical study of 25 exemplary Kenyan public leaders in August and September 2012.

Qualitative research employs purposive sampling so as to acquire perceptions of reality from the participants (Okpanachi, 2008). Participants were selected for the study based on their relevance to the research question as well as the theoretical orientation and analytical framework of the researcher (Bryman & Burgess, 1999; Mason, 2002). Further, Patton (2002) argued that purposive sampling allows for information-rich cases to be selected for in-depth studies. In this study, Jacobs’ (2009) operational definition of exemplary leadership was adapted to be a leader who has influenced the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of a significant number of people. Therefore, Kenyan leaders, identified by their peers and other experienced leaders as outstanding or exemplary in their effectiveness or contribution, were selected as the sample for this study. Each of them was requested for an appointment for a face-to-face in-depth interview using semi-structured questions. It was also anticipated that the best information-rich participants would be requested for a follow-up focus group to explore phenomena that evolve in the interviews (Miles & Huberman, 2002; Ngunjiri, 2006). Respondents were interviewed until informational redundancy (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) or saturation (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was achieved, signalling the attainment of the appropriate sample size (Guest et al., 2006; Sandelowski, 1995).

Though the researcher’s emic insights (Pike, 1954/1967) helped to enrich the study by being personally involved in the analysis, this research used ATLAS TI Version 7 for qualitative analysis of the data so as to identify the codes, themes, memos and ideas.

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