On September 9, 2021, Morgan Blount became Dr. Morgan Blount after successfully defending her doctoral manuscript entitled Crisis Leadership: An Examination of Effective Leadership Styles and Mindset, making her the FIRST EVER Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree recipient from JWU. After enrolling in the inaugural cohort in 2018, Dr. Blount fondly looks back at her experience in the program and re-confirms the program's goal of progressing students to graduate successfully and on time. "I really enjoyed the lock-step courses throughout the dissertation. The timeframes were manageable and helped me to set personal deadlines to make sure I finished on time."
More about the DBA Program at JWU
In 2018, Johnson & Wales University College of Business and College of Online Education enrolled their first DBA cohort of highly motivated learners. Since then, the program has grown each year and continues to strengthen and expand. From the start, Morgan and her colleagues connected with their cohort and faculty to start the journey of becoming professionals and scholars known to be terminally degreed within the field of business. Speaking about the DBA program, Dr. Blount recalls, "The Johnson & Wales University DBA program was such a great experience! Each class helped me think more strategically about the work I do every day. The shift in my thought process was noticeable to my partners at work, which provided me even more career growth and opportunity," echoing the voices of other members from each cohort.
More on Dr. Blount's Research
Her research explored which leadership style within the Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic (CIP) Leadership model was most effective in leading during a crisis and if leaders can change their leadership style to adapt to current needs. Additionally, her study utilized Carol Dweck's (2006) Implicit Theory of Intelligence Scale to determine if a leader has a growth mindset or fixed mindset. This convergent mixed-methods study examined if there was a relationship between the preferred leadership style and mindset to determine if natural leadership style can be adjusted to lead through a crisis. Data collection was completed through an online questionnaire that assessed demographic information, leader preference, perceived similarity, and mindset.
What's next for Dr. Blount
In looking back at the application process, Morgan mentioned that she started the program with the intent of gaining "greater expertise in business, in order to develop new insight and provide practical solutions for organizations, based on research and trends." Now completed, she feels that the knowledge, skills, and confidence gained from the program has set her up to pursue fields of interest like consulting for private and non-profit organizations, as well as teaching and scholarship within the field of Organizational Development and Human Resources. While Dr. Blount has successfully defended her research and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Business Administration in September 2021, she plans to walk at graduation in May 2022 with other members of the first DBA cohort.
Recognizing that a dissertation is a work of many (mostly Dr. Blount), she extends a thank you to her devoted advisor, Dr. Karen Silva; her second reader, Dr. Maureen Dumas; and her methodologist, Dr. Larry Hughes.
The faculty, staff, and dissertation committee members that are dedicated to the DBA program share their excitement for Dr. Blount- Congratulations!