Rhema Chatiya Nantham

School of Management
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
Learning from the experiences of women adult third culture kids: Prototyping their insights for leadership development in a globalising context

Research Description
Third Culture Kids (TCK) are a unique group of people who grow up outside of their home culture. Their life changes and experiences equip them to be adaptable and diverse leaders. There is space for this research to contribute to knowledge around leadership development because this demographic are subconsciously experiencing leadership development throughout various life stages, as they develop their intersectional identities. Understanding the development of TCK will provide a new lens on leadership development and intersectional identities. The research aims to contribute to knowledge around TCK and critically understand current research by looking into the following questions – how do third culture kids understand their identity and leadership, how do they connect their life changes and experiences to leadership development, and how do their perspectives change as they progress through various life stages? This research is vital for the progression of assumptions in leadership development because this group unknowingly experiences lifelong leadership development from the changes and experiences they encounter throughout their life.

Personal Description
I am from Malaysia, grew up in the Philippines and moved to New Zealand to complete my degree in Finance at Massey. I enjoyed my experienced at Massey and continued my master's in Business Studies focusing on TCK young women and leadership. After working for a few years, an opportunity arose and I decided to do my PhD. I returned to Massey because I had a healthy support system in the university. I am using this PhD to validate my view on leadership and develop a useful programme for young women who are TCK.

Professor Sarah Leberman
Dr Suze Wilson