P. (Pisitta) Vongswasdi MSc

Pisitta Vongswasdi
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate
Field: Organisation
Affiliated since 2016

PhD Track Uncomfortable but Learning: The Role of Challenging Experience in Accelerating Leadership Development

Leadership development is a high priority for most organizations today. Much resources have been invested in training and development programs aimed at producing more effective, high performing leaders. Gaining status as a prevalent approach to developing leaders is the notion of experiential learning—which involves individuals going through challenging situations or taking on difficult tasks that presumably enable them to enhance their leadership capacities. Despite its popularity in practice, there is very little research on experience-driven leadership development. The goal of this dissertation is, therefore, to better understand whether, how, and when experiences, particularly challenging and uncomfortable ones, contribute to learning and development of leaders. It does this by, first, utilizing inductive method to address the questions of what uncomfortable experiences are, and how leaders navigate through these experiences and learn from them. With the use of relatively new data collection method, this dissertation also explores the role of emotion as one possible mechanism through which uncomfortable experience may impact developmental outcomes. In addition, this dissertation also employs experimental designs to test the boundary conditions of the effect of challenging, uncomfortable experience. In sum, this dissertation contributes to the nascent but emerging field of leadership development, specifically by examining and unpacking this ‘uncomfortable but learning’ phenomenon. By doing so, it also provides practical insights for organizations, practitioners and business schools alike to develop better leadership development programs.

leadership development, adult development, learning from experience, training, mindset, behavioral change, self-perspective, emotion, adaptability
Time frame
2016 -


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