Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Institution Granting Degree

Antioch University

Cedarville University School or Department

History and Government

First Advisor

Laurien Alexandre

Second Advisor

Laura Roberts

Third Advisor

Gary Cordner


Law enforcement, African Americans, police chief, leadership, criminal justice, police chief competencies, Delphi method


The purpose of this dissertation was to identify and understand the dimensions of leadership of those African Americans, who are effective as the chief executive officer (CEO) of a municipal law enforcement agency, and thereby to educate and inform both those aspiring to be police chiefs and those presently serving as police chiefs, particularly African Americans. Four content areas were examined to gain a better understanding of the research question: (1) Police executive leadership literature; (2) African American leadership; (3) The trait theory of leadership; (4) emotional intelligence. Study participants were all African American police chiefs with the expertise and requisite knowledge of municipal police chief leadership. The Delphi method was used, resulting in the emergence of judgments based on anonymous responses during multiple iterations. Consensus for the purpose of this study was defined as exceeding an 80% overall composite score of agreement among the panel of experts. The study results produced 34 consensus dimensions based on each receiving a composite score of 85% or higher. This resulted in the panel of experts identifying 12 competencies, 12 qualities, and 11 attributes of management and leadership for an effective African American municipal police chief. While the study does not claim to identify a set of qualities that will ensure that an African American municipal police chief will be effective in the job, the identified dimensions should enhance the professional development of an aspiring African American municipal police chief. Additionally, the findings of the study support the assumption that African American municipal police chiefs are likely to encounter specific race-based challenges on their leadership journey and, therefore, should plan and prepare to overcome them. The electronic version of this dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center,



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