Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Charles B. Daniels

Committee Member

Pilar Pazos-Lago

Committee Member

Holly Handley

Committee Member

Edward Markowski


The purpose of the current study is to contribute to the existing Transformational Leadership literature. Despite the overwhelming support that Transformational Leadership theory has garnered over the recent years, the underlying mechanisms and processes by which these leaders exert influence on their followers have yet to be adequately examined. More importantly, while the majority of advances in leadership research can largely be attributed to traditional areas of management and social sciences, studies of leadership in the context of engineering still remain relatively unexplored. Drawing on previous empirical research as well as the concept of Core Self-Evaluations, this study sets out to examine an antecedent of Transformational Leadership in the context of engineering project teams. Using a longitudinal research design, this study also examines the relationship between Transformational Leadership and followers’ Core Self-Evaluations developments. Data were collected over 16 weeks from 143 undergraduate engineering students enrolled in their respective department-required engineering design courses. Results illustrate a positive and significant relationship between leader Core Self-Evaluations and followers’ perception of Transformational Leadership. A multi-level and longitudinal analysis also revealed that Transformational Leadership is positively related to increases in followers’ Core Self-Evaluations. These findings contribute to a better understanding of Transformational Leadership in the context of engineering. Both the theoretical and practical implications from this research are discussed. Limitations and suggestions for future research are also provided.