Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael D. Coovert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Walter C. Borman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph A. Vandello, Ph.D.


leader ship, leader behaviors, risk, behavior portfolio, modern portfolio theory, integration


Existing leadership theories and applied resources contain bountiful lists of recommended behaviors for leaders to employ, yet an integrated model that produces the most efficient set of leader behaviors does not currently exist. A standard, quantitative method to compare and contrast leader behaviors is needed to siphon utility from each resource, leading to an integrated and diversified set of optimal behaviors for leaders to consider. Leaders have limited time and need a reliable method to make informed behavioral decisions that consistently produce the most positive effects on the desired outcome. Unfortunately, leaders do not have the time to sift through the plethora of literary resources to uncover an optimal list of behavioral options. Leaders need to know what behavior to employ, when to employ it, the expected outcome, and the potential risk. Interestingly, these behavioral variables are also common to investors in the financial arena, where the principles of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) are often used to decipher the most optimal portfolio from a daunting list of investment options. The primary purpose of this study was to adopt some of the basic principles behind MPT in order to propose a similar quantitative Leader Behavior Portfolio Model, which determines an integrated and optimal set of effective leader behaviors. During this research, the proposed model was populated with archival performance data on over 5,000 cadets at the United States Military Academy. The outputs were then used to construct and administer surveys to 255 ROTC cadets in order to validate the model. The results of the survey response data were consistent with the outputs from the Leader Behavior Portfolio Model, showing strong support for adopting the principles of MPT to create an optimal set of leader behaviors.