Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Charles B. Daniels

Committee Member

Ipek Bozkurt

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Cesar A. Pinto


This paper addresses one aspect of the opportunity for corporations to reduce leadership development infrastructure by narrowing the participant pool to candidates that, intuitively, may be multi-skilled and capable of handling diverse roles and assignments within the corporate environment. In particular, the study seeks to determine the effect that engineering education has on leadership style by comparing the leadership style of certified project managers (CPMs), and non-CPM managers with engineering degrees, to the same for CPMs, and non-CPM managers, who do not possess engineering degrees. Engineering degrees may be further defined as mechanical, electrical, industrial and the like. Leadership styles are partitioned into transformational, transactional and passive avoidant as per established scholarly definitions. The underlying assumption is that transformational leadership is a preferred leadership style in the corporate sector. CPMs, and non-CPMs, with and without engineering degrees, will comprise the sampling population. While it is beyond the scope of the current proposal to address the broader potential relationship between engineering skills and effective leadership, knowledge gained regarding the potential relationship between engineering education and leadership style may serve as the impetus for addressing the broader topic. An analysis of the sampled population suggests, at an alpha of .05, that a relationship exists between leadership style and engineering education with those managers in possession of engineering degrees testing as more transformational and transactional than the same without engineering degrees. However, at the same level of statistical significance, neither transformational nor transactional leadership styles were determined to be the predominant style of leadership among the groups with or without engineering degrees.