Organization Management Journal


In this phenomenological study, the authors explore exemplar teaching assistants’ experiences and perceptions of their work in supporting leadership development for undergraduate business students. Findings demonstrate that successful, effective teaching assistants whose role is to cultivate students’ leadership competencies conceptualize their roles as middle managers in the classroom, acting independently and focusing on system stability. Forming professional networks and establishing physical and psychological boundaries support their developmental roles. Based on the findings, the authors present guidelines for universities that use teaching assistants in developmental roles, strategies for individuals who serve as assistants, and implications for future research.