Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education

Primary Advisor

Steven J. Henderson, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Thomas J. Gollery, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Doug J. Roth, Ed.D.


The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the observable patterns of online search behavior in the topic of leadership using Google Trends data. Institutions have had a historically difficult time predicting good leadership candidates. Better predictions can be made by using the big data offered by groups such as Google to learn who, where, and when people are interested in leadership. The study utilized descriptive, comparative, and correlative methodologies to study Google users’ interest in leadership from 2004 to 2017. Society has placed great value into leadership throughout history, and though overall interest remains strong, it appears that the expression of that interest may have changed over time. Key findings revealed that interest in leadership often peaks during the spring and fall seasons while dipping during the summer and the winter holiday seasons. Leadership interest also appears to be more concentrated in geographic locations that home certain universities and political arenas.