The purpose of this grounded theory study was to develop a construct that describes the motivations of physicians to lead multidisciplinary prostate cancer clinics (MPCCs). Medical leaders play a key role in increasing the number of MPCCs, which are not yet widely available to patients in the United States. Understanding what motivates these physicians to lead is an important dimension of developing, recruiting, and retaining MPCC leaders. This study collected qualitative, empirical data from 12 MPCC medical leaders located throughout the United States. Utilizing theoretical sampling and constant comparison, the data derived from face-to-face interviews were used to create a new construct of MPCC medical leaders' motives called Leader-Stage Motivation (LSM). In the LSM construct a physician experiences 11 motivational factors while leading a multidisciplinary prostate cancer clinic. These 11 factors are grouped into 5 motivational patterns: mentored self-efficacy, purpose-driven goal, multidisciplinary relatedness, time-moderated challenge, and achievement-driven goal. Each of these 5 patterns is directly related to the leader's role during 3 stages of MPCC development: leader-creator, leader-sustainer, and leader-renewer. The LSM construct is distinct from other leadership motivation theories such as leadership motive pattern (McClelland, 1975), role motivation theory (Miner, 1978) and motivation to lead (Chan & Drasgow, 2001). Unlike these previous theories LSM establishes a relationship between the leader's motivations and changing leadership roles during the life cycle of an organization. The LSM construct also provides a new model of leadership motivation that is specific to medical leaders. This study contributes to leadership motivation research by modeling physicians' motivations to lead in one type of multidisciplinary, patient-centered environment. The LSM construct gives health care providers a development, recruitment, and retention framework for future multidisciplinary prostate cancer clinic medical leaders. Results of this study may also contribute more broadly to an understanding of what motivates physicians to lead their peers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Clinics -- Administration; Leadership; Physicians

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Rhodes, Kent;