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ERIC Number: ED514931
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 311
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-3949-0
The Experience of Leadership during Organizational Identity Transformation: A Phenomenological Study of Florida's State College Presidents
Pierce, Tracy A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
The study was a qualitative investigation into the sensemaking experience of leaders during transformative organizational identity change. How people arrive at meaning (sensemaking) and the implications of that meaning for organizational performance are essential to effective leadership during change. Organizational theory holds that organizational identity (views of what the organization is and represents) has implications for how members identify with an organization and that organizational identification impacts members' own perception of self. Existing sensemaking studies during change comprise case studies and ethnographic studies focused on organizational effects and member behaviors. The literature gap centers on the leadership experience. The research questions for this study focused on the sensemaking and sensegiving nature of the leadership experience and personal effects of organization identity transformation on leaders. Data were collected and analyzed through phenomenological reduction and imaginative variation. In-depth interviews and recursive interactions with college presidents leading their institutions through identity change were used to describe the experience. Findings document the significance of community influence on leader behavior, the importance of an enacted internal sensegiving environment, the role of relationships in shaping sense, the emergence of an antagonist in the sense narrative, mitigation of identity issues, the emergence of a dominant lens, and college image issues. "Senseshaping" is offered as a construct to describe leadership behavior in conditions of multilateral, competitive sensemaking. This study contributes to social change by preparing leaders to guide socially important organizations through transformation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida