Isp thesis

Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Studies Program

First Advisor

Richard Raspa





December 2010

Advisor: Dr. Richard Raspa

Degree: Master of Interdisciplinary Studies

Many people in today's world often submit to broad assumptions, generalizations and faulty reasoning in determining what constitutes a competent leader. Qualities such as high energy, positive attitude and charisma are unfortunately the sole traits that elect leaders. While positive thinking does help to produce compelling visions to inspire people, high energy is necessary for leadership given the workload and charisma needed to win people over. These are components for election not successful leadership.

Such narrow sighted values for leadership have repeatedly produced a less than desirable quality of chosen leaders. The lack of proper knowledge that identifies rational and effective standards for leadership can empower the likelihood of producing real leaders. Culture also plays a significant role in leadership. In order to empower as many people as possible with a basic yet well-rounded understanding of both, leadership and culture, Interdisciplinary Studies becomes essential.

Interdisciplinary Studies is the use of two or more subjects to produce a more dynamic, multi-angular understanding of a particular topic. The subjects used for the Interdisciplinary perspective will be intercultural communication, Anthropology and transformational leadership. The communication portion will cover high and low context communication. To comprehend the cultural portion of leadership, Business Anthropology will be used. Through Business Anthropology's merge between organizational studies and intercultural communication, the cross-cultural components effecting leadership will be more thoroughly understood. Transformational leadership defined is the process of leaders transforming followers to higher moral and ethical standards. This unique form of leadership will be discussed relative to the previously mentioned subjects of communication and Anthropology use films as case studies. The goal of this thesis is to condense the mass of information surrounding leadership and culture into a level of understanding that is as accessible to as many people as possible. To accomplish this, movies will be used as case studies. By exploring the aforementioned subjects in the active scenarios displayed in the movies Black Rain, Gandhi and The Man Who Would Be King, the analysis will be made in a more accessible format.