First Advisor

Jennifer Allen

Term of Graduation

Summer 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Affairs and Policy


Public Affairs and Policy




environment and natural resources, leadership, leadership development, public service



Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 145 pages)


Public administrators in the United States face increasingly complex challenges and are called to leadership by position and in practice. In a hyper-pluralistic society, individuals must lead from where they sit, arbitrating value differences in day-to-day functions and taking on adversity and uncertainty in pursuit of the public good. These individuals are served by a variety of leadership training programs both internal and external to their organizations. This study characterizes the field immersion/comparative cases (FICC) model for public service leadership development and uses a grounded theory approach to build understanding about how individuals learn about leadership; what learning outcomes emerge from a single FICC program; and the individual, organizational, and societal impacts of those learning outcomes. The study uses program archives review, participant observation, and fifty-one interviews of alumni of the Executive Seminar Program in Natural Resources Leadership (ESP), a program of the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, to elucidate six categories of ESP learning outcomes. In addition, the study offers three propositions for how and why the FICC model works, discusses where FICC-style programs are most useful, and identifies areas for further investigation and development of practice.


© 2023 Erin M. Steinkruger

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