Committee Chair

Freeman, John A.

Committee Member

Petzko, Vicki N.; McClay, Wilfred M.; Ellington, Lucien; Sweatt, Owen


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This historical case study was designed to analyze and describe the quality of the relationships between one historical, military commander, GEN Braxton Bragg, commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, and his senior lieutenants, through the lens of a contemporary, relationship-centered model of leadership dynamics, Leader-Member Exchange (LMX). The results of this research fill a void in the examination of historical leadership in light of contemporary theoretical frameworks. In addition, this study enables organizational leaders, from a variety of contexts, to identify the various dynamics between leader-member relationships that influence perceptions of organizational justice, trust, and loyalty. The literature review (1) discusses the legitimacy of history as a source of leadership insight, (2) details the context for the emergence of LMX as a credible relationship-based theoretical framework, (3) identifies the distinctive features of LMX, and (4) anticipates how those features were evidenced in the historical context of the tenure of Bragg as commander of the Army of Tennessee during the most critical days of its history, most notably the 1863 campaigns for Chattanooga. Through a content analysis of the historical record, including the primary source record and seminal secondary sources, the interactions between Bragg and the senior members of his command are analyzed, using the LMX-MDM scale, and synthesized into a general LMX-informed description of the command climate of the Army of Tennessee during Bragg’s tenure. While historians have tended to classify officers within the Army of Tennessee as either pro-Bragg or anti-Bragg, the findings indicate a much more complex command climate, with several officers demonstrating indications of anti-Bragg (i.e., out-group) sentiment, several indicating pro-Bragg (i.e., in-group) sentiment, and several demonstrating features of both. While there are myriad reasons for the emergence of out-group and in-group sentiment, it is believed that this synthesis provides contemporary leaders with a model for examining leader-follower relationships within their own organizational settings, as well as with a series of lessons that might inform leadership preparation programs and, in the interest of promoting organizational effectiveness, instruct current leaders in better management of the quality of their relationships with members of their organizations.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876


Educational Leadership

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xxi, 329 leaves