Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Second Advisor

Walter Gmelch

Third Advisor

Richard Johnson III


This study utilized a quantitative method, using surveys of workers in the public sector in the City of Oakland to determine the barriers that make it difficult to manage performance and tackle complex issues of that organization. Further, this study delved into the possibility for these leaders to create transactional or transformational environments in this sector. The goal was to find issues that make it difficult for public-sector executives to lead effectively; that is, the goal was to discern factors that prohibit executives from delivering high-quality and efficient services to the public and developing change management. This survey is vital toward understanding the dynamics of public sector leadership theory. The survey distributed to more than 5,000 City of Oakland employees with the expectation of a 0.5% response rate. The researcher sent an email to potential participants through the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) with associated demographic questions to establish race, income, gender, age, position hierarchy, seniority, education level, and department. This method allowed City of Oakland staff to offer insights without the anxiety of retaliation and under the cover of anonymity. The survey approach allowed the researcher to gain a comprehensive understanding of a large pool of participants in a short duration of time. The results from this study showed that, in general, it is not intended to encourage the cataloging of a leader as Transformational or Transactional. Instead, it is suitable to classify a leader or a collection of leaders as (i.e.) “more transformational than the norm”or “less transactional than the norm.” Our research shows certain demographics and how certain groups lean towards transformational or transactional leadership styles.