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Title: The forgotten career of Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, 1892-1937 : a social and cultural history of leadership development in the inter-war Royal Air Force
Author: Mahoney, Ross Wayne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 8544
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines how an officer with so many perceived detractors reached senior leadership positions in the Royal Air Force of the Second World War; that officer is Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory. Utilising prosopography as a methodology, and grounded in an understanding of leadership theory, though recognising the limitations of applying modern language to historical analysis, this thesis surveys the development processes used by the RAF to nurture officers for senior positions. Furthermore, this thesis argues that the RAF, bounded by the Service’s culture and ethos, took an interest in the leadership development of its officer class as it had a stake in producing able leaders capable of defending its independence. This was done through modern conceptions, such as socialisation, job assignments, action learning and nurturing. These concepts formed the basis of nurtured officers shared experiences, and this thesis illustrates how Leigh-Mallory was representative of the type of officer the RAF wanted to lead the Service. The experiences outlined in this thesis focus on training, education and job assignments, which included aspects, such as the importance of Staff College attendance, command experience and staff duties. Participation in these key shared experiences made officers such as Leigh-Mallory ‘visible’ to those able to further nurture officers careers while giving them the knowledge required to lead at the senior level. By understanding the culture and context of the development of the senior leadership of the RAF of the Second World War, this thesis now allows for a more considered understanding of the effectiveness of officers such as Leigh-Mallory during that conflict.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CT Biography ; D204 Modern History