Date of Award

1995

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Wong-Rieger, Durhane,

Keywords

Psychology, Social.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

An alternative social constructivist based approach to leadership and culture management is developed for, and evaluated in conjunction with, a five member senior management team for a large social service agency. The research is praxis-oriented, emergent in design, and emancipatory in its intent (Lather, 1991; Morgan, 1993). Lincoln and Guba's (1985) method of Naturalistic Inquiry is used to guide the conduct of the inquiry. The central purposes of the study are to: (1) develop a constructivist based theory of social organizing through the conceptual integration of leadership and culture; (2) design and conduct a training and application initiative focused on the construction of a leadership theory customized to the participants' culture; and (3) engage participants in an open-ended evaluation and exploration of the training to inform and sophisticate the training process as an applied knowledge construction. The paper begins with an overview and subsequent deconstruction of the fundamental values and assumptions underlying the positivist leadership discourse. Out of this deconstruction emerges a constructivist reconstruction of leadership which integrates the concepts of leadership and culture into a dialectical continuum. This theory serves as the foundation for the development of a training and application initiative. The research focuses on an emergent evaluation and exploration of the training initiative. Data are generated through two series of semi-structured interviews, a detailed reflexive journal, and a series of final member checks. The results indicate that the training process met the evaluative criteria established to assess its meaningfulness and practical utility. The broader exploration agenda produces insights into the training process which could not be anticipated in advance of the inquiry. These include the unanticipated emotional impact the process had on individual participants, and the powerful destabilizing effect the process had on the team's cultural order. Caution must therefore be exercised in conducting this form of training with groups that lack sufficient trust, emotional maturity, and supportive relationships. Recommendations for additional research are offered.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .V64. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 57-07, Section: B, page: 4788. Adviser: Durhane Wong-Rieger. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.

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