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Shooting For Mars: Research into Multiteam Leadership Wins FIU Center for Leadership 2017 Research Dissertation Award

Published on 8/7/17Bookmark and Share

Leadership in Mars and NASA

Miami (August 7, 2017) Can a better understanding of leadership across multiple teams help send the right people to Mars? Dr. Dorothy Carter believes it may. Her doctoral research into leadership across teams with different goals reveals how people influence each other and achieve related outcomes - and may even help NASA choose the most cohesive team of astronauts for their mission to Mars.

The work from Dr. Carter, an assistant professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Georgia, won the Center for Leadership at Florida International University's Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Dr. Carter's dissertation, "The Motivational Drivers of Leadership Emergence in Multiteam Systems," reveals that when a team is embedded in a larger system comprised of multiple teams, the goals emphasized within each team affect members’ willingness to participate in leadership processes in relation to other teams. Ultimately, her findings help explain why patterns of leadership relationships arise within and across teams to affect the success or failure of complex organizational systems.

“Studying leadership as a network is necessary in order to understand the ways that people influence one another, both formally, as well as informally, toward different goals,” Dr. Carter said.

“I am honored to receive this award, and I hope it helps to legitimize the importance of network approaches within the leadership field.”

Established in partnership with the Network of Leadership Scholars (NLS), the award honors an individual whose dissertation makes an outstanding contribution to the field of leadership. Dr. Carter will be honored at the Network of Leadership Scholars meeting at the Academy of Management Annual Conference on August 6, 2017, and she will present her findings at The Leadership Research Colloquium, presented by the Center in April 2018. The award includes a $3,000 cash prize.

“Dr. Carter’s work and this award places the Center for Leadership at the leading edge of academic conversations that are having a significant impact on the way leadership is practiced and may be improved and leveraged to create more effective organizations,” said Dr. Nathan Hiller, academic director for the Center. Dr. Hiller oversaw the international committee that blindly reviewed the final 11 dissertations from 4 countries. “We’re honored to partner with the Network of Leadership Scholars from the Academy of Management to host and present this award.”

Dr. Carter’s research has been published in such outlets as Journal of Applied Psychology, The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Management, Group and Organization Management, and The Oxford Handbook of Leadership. She is also the Primary Investigator on “Project FUSION: Facilitating Unified Systems of Interdependent Organizational Networks”, a grant funded project by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to enhance the multiteam collaboration processes that will be necessary to send a team of humans to Mars. Her dissertation research was overseen by adviser Dr. Leslie DeChurch of Northwestern University and supported in part through DeChurch’s National Science Foundation CAREER grant.