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ERIC Number: ED531528
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 162
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-5511-3
Target School Research Project: Change and Learning Community Development
Simmerman, Herbert R., Jr.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Rowan University
This study investigated the use of organizational learning community principles to effectively manage organizational change. Target is a pseudonym for a small public school in Southern New Jersey that has provided educational services to students with special needs since 1969. In 2004 Target began providing services to a new population of students who exhibited challenging maladaptive behaviors, which constituted a profound organizational change. I was employed to provide Target staff with information about the new students and intervention strategies to address student behaviors including self-injury, physical aggression, property destruction, and other problematic misconduct. Target staff received instruction on the use of positive behavioral support (PBS) strategies, which are widely accepted as appropriate interventions for students with behavioral challenges (Carr et al., 2002; Sugai et al., 2000; Turnbull et al., 2000). Organizational learning principles were also introduced as a means of helping the Target organization adapt to change. Senge's (1990, 1994) five disciplines of organizational learning provided the structural framework for staff development activities intended to facilitate an organizational learning orientation. The study explores the development of an organizational learning orientation at Target and the efficacy of introducing organizational learning principles to help staff adapt to a new student population. The study results indicate that the Target employees responded favorably to the introduction of organizational learning principles and evidence from the study supports a shift toward an organizational learning orientation. The study further revealed that the development of an organizational learning orientation appeared to enhance the staff's capacity to adapt to the change in student population and improved their ability to effectively implement positive behaviors support strategies. An examination of my leadership performance throughout the study helped me evaluate my leadership decisions. I identified my espoused leadership principles, which were rooted in democratic, transformative, and servant leadership principles. The study showed that I remained focused on my espoused leadership goals despite difficult leadership challenges. Reflective practice strategies were useful in helping me track my leadership growth throughout the study and enabled me to identify the circumstances that presented the greatest challenges to my espoused leadership goals. [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: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey