Alternative Title

Identifying the impact of twelve-step programs on executives' leadership styles


This study examined the impact of 12-step programs on executives' leadership styles. Nine executives in active recovery from addiction were recruited using convenience and snowball sampling strategies and completed surveys and interviews about the use, outcomes, and transferability of 12-step program elements. Participants reported heavily relying on the 12-step program in their personal and professional lives. Participants reported several personal, professional, and leadership impacts as a result of their use of the 12-step program, such as learning to connect with God and others, achieving professional success, and having a different motivation. These impacts enable them to balance concerns of both humanity and results in the workplace. A 12-step program adapted for both a non-recovery population and organization specific culture could be an effective and inexpensive way to develop humanistic, results-oriented leaders. Continued research should use a larger sample and examine the unique impact of each program element.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Research projects (MSOD); Twelve-step programs; Executives -- Psychology; Organizational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Lacey, Miriam;