Date of Award



© 2016 Carol Kerr

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Carol Holmquist

Second Advisor

Peter Fifield

Third Advisor

Richard Lacquement


The international security environment depends in part on professional military leaders with the knowledge, skills and attributes to execute a broad range of leadership communication, collaboration and negotiations with counterparts in complex international and intercultural settings. If higher education is the path to cognition, metacognition, motivation and behavior, then it may be an effective instrument for developing leadership readiness for a range of international/inter-cultural tasks. This study explores US military leaders’ perceptions about graduate-level, senior professional military education alongside foreign military officers at the U.S. Army War College as an influence on readiness for decision-making, cultural adaptation, and task performance in a cross-cultural leadership context. Five findings suggest the influence of a collaborative multinational graduate education setting on US leaders’ cross-cultural competence. Best practices based on theory-based analysis of graduate interviews include institutional guidance linking cultural agility and professional purpose; direct and meaningful engagements; skillful faculty facilitation; cultural immersion-like effects through multiple cross-cultural experiences; and experiential learning that challenges and reframes mental models.


Ed.D. Dissertation