Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua D. Henson

Second Advisor

Dr. Bethany Peters

Third Advisor

Dr. Nhia Vu


Since arriving in the United States in 1975 as immigrants, the Hmong have faced many cultural challenges and were forced to adapt quickly. In 2011, the Hmong lost their last officially recognized leader, General Vang Pao. With the Hmong assimilating to the American culture, it is unclear whether their leadership prototype has changed due to cultural variation. This qualitative phenomenological study aimed to examine leadership prototypes and cultural variation amongst working professional Hmong men and women in Minnesota. Minnesota was chosen because it is home to the largest Hmong population in the United States. This study targeted understanding the lived experiences of four Hmong male and four Hmong female participants between the age of 28 and 45 years. In-person interviews were conducted to collect data. The results indicated that cultural variation impacted the leadership prototypes of Hmong men and women working professionals in Minnesota. Many participants stated a change in leadership prototype as they learned to balance Hmong and American values. The results support being more aware of Hmong household challenges, cultural variation, gender differences, and how this may affect their leadership prototypes. In addition, the results indicated that the leadership prototypes of Hmong men and women working professionals in Minnesota are leaders who are empathetic, are compassionate, lead by example, and keep their word.