The purpose of this research is to verify key attributes, benefits, and deficiencies of the co-leadership model. Does co-leadership encourage more thoughtful decisions, provide checks and balances, and better support in a complex environment? Explanatory sequential mixed method research was employed to determine qualitative and quantitative measurable impacts. A sample group of 14 co-leaders, formally and informally paired, from the profit and not-for-profit sector were surveyed. The survey consisted primarily of Likert-type Scale queries to test assumed attributes and benefits and open-ended questions used to identify unanticipated attributes, benefits, and deficiencies. In depth interviews were conducted with three individuals who have served under the co-leadership model to determine key factors that lead to successful implementation. Results were verified using inter-rater reliability and shared with participants in hopes that more organizations will recognize and endorse co-leadership as a legitimate model that better supports sustained leadership in an increasingly complex world.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Organization Development; Leadership -- Case studies; Decision making; Organizational effectiveness -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Schaffer, Regan Harwell