Thought Leadership as a Pedagogical Approach – The CEITR Model

Thought Leadership as a Pedagogical Approach – The CEITR Model

Thought leadership provides a useful lens for evaluating the significance of CEITR projects for both the University of Phoenix and the community of scholars.  Midgley (2017) characterizes thought leaders as judicious, collegial, and proficient in motivating others.  Classen and Alvarez (2017) suggest thought leaders identify and catalyze community needs into viable action plans.  Drawing upon the work of others (Brousseau & Kawasaki, 2013; Male & Palaiologou, 2015), Nagyová et al. (2016) portray thought leadership as a pedagogical approach and delineate a seven-step model:

  1. Identify a topic of interest
  2. Network with like-minded people
  3. Incentivize first followers
  4. Failure is not an option
  5. Create a model that can be conveyed to others
  6. Promote the idea
  7. Get started (Nagyova et al., 2016, p. 642-643)

CEITR’s Dissertation to Publication programs operationalize thought leadership as a pedagogical approach:

  • The "Individual Support" program is appropriate for the participants who are self-disciplined, well informed about how to write a manuscript, and prefer to develop the manuscript based on their own.
  • The "Dissertation to Publication" workshop is appropriate for novice authors who are interested in learning about how to write a journal manuscript and need structure and timelines to complete/submit their papers to the journals.

CEITR's Dissertation to Publication programs align with the seven-step thought leadership model (Nagyová et al., 2016): 

Step 1 - Identify a topic of interest

According to Provost Curley’s “Scholarship Engagement Overview for Faculty" message, dated June 27, 2017, and the Deans of Faculty “Scholarship Engagement Expectations for Graduate Faculty” message, dated June 30, 2017:

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has issued new faculty qualification guidelines stipulating “instructors teaching in graduate programs should…have a record of…scholarship” appropriate for the discipline in which they teach. These new guidelines impact all institutions under HLC accreditation.  In support of the University’s Scholarship Mission and Vision, scholarship expectations for faculty have been updated as follows:

  • All faculty must ensure that they understand Boyer’s Model, which is the basis for defining scholarship at our University.
  • Graduate faculty:  While doctoral faculty and dissertation chairs have long had scholarship requirements, effective September 1, 2017, all faculty who teach graduate courses must have a record of scholarship to continue teaching graduate courses. Each College and School has used Boyer’s Model to identify scholarly activities that meet this requirement.  Faculty who teach graduate courses receive a separate message from the Deans of Faculty including a link to a website with a list of qualifying activities and instructions for creating their scholarship record.

CEITR's Dissertation to Publication programs directly address HLC guidelines and the University’s Scholarship Mission and Vision by engaging the faculty as well as graduated students in scholarly activities and learning about the skill of publishing their studies.

Step 2 - Network with like-minded people

Graduate faculty who plan to continue teaching graduate level courses are considering scholarship strategies aligned with their research interests.  However, in the online environment, many faculty are unsure where to begin or how to get started.  CEITR’s Dissertation to Publication programs comprise human interaction, a scarce and welcome resource in the virtual environment.

Step 3 - Incentivize first followers

CEITR’s “Individual Support” program helps graduate faculty execute their scholarship strategies by providing one-on-one support for developing journal-appropriate content aligned with their research interests. 

Step 4 - Failure is not an option

Faculty retention is requisite to the student retention, completion, and persistence intrinsic to the University’s mission. CEITR’s Dissertation to Publication programs enhance scholarly achievements and professional lives of students and faculty and improve students’ retention.  

Step 5 - Create a model that can be conveyed to others

Serving doctoral and graduate faculty, CEITR’s “Individual Support” and "Dissertation to Publication" workshop program empower faculty to execute scholarship strategies by providing one-on-one support for developing journal-appropriate content aligned with their research interests.

Step 6 – Promote the idea

CEITR’s “Individual Support” and "Dissertation to Publication" workshop program are being introduced to the Deans of Faculty and School of Advanced Studies alumni.

Step 7 – Get started

Action speaks louder than words. CEITR's Dissertation to Publication Workshop was launched in January 2017 and are being monitored to optimize performance. CEITR's individual support for publication was launched in 2015. 


In conclusion, CEITR’s Dissertation to Publication programs provide a thought leadership model for expanding the community of scholars within the University of Phoenix and beyond. 

Comments, recommendations, and suggestions on ways to optimize these resources are welcome!



Brosseau, D., & Kawasaki, G. (2013). Ready to be a thought leader? How to increase your influence, impact, and success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Classen, S., & Alvarez, L. (2017, January). Reflecting and refocusing: Responsibilities of thought leadership. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health,37(1), 3-4. doi: 10.1177/1539449216683055

Male, T. & Palaiologou, I. (2015). Pedagogical leadership in the 21st century: Evidence from the field. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 43(2), 214–231.

Midgley, M. (2017). Thought leadership. Journal of Healthcare Risk Management, 37(1), 5.

Nagyová, L., Horská, E., Košičiarová, I., & Moroz, S. (2016). Thought leadership as an innovative way of teaching.  Scientific Paper:  International Scientific Days 2016. The Agri-Food Value Chain: Challenges for Natural Resources Management and Society, 640-651.  Retrieved from  doi:

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Louise Underdahl



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