POWER SHIFTS DURING AN ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSFORMATION

Open Access
Author:
Triscari, Jacqlyn S.
Graduate Program:
Adult Education
Degree:
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
March 19, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Patricia Angelica Cranton, Dissertation Advisor
  • Patricia Angelica Cranton, Committee Chair
  • Elizabeth Jean Tisdell, Committee Chair
  • Triparna B Vasavada, Committee Member
  • Jo Tyler, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Postmodernism
  • Transformation
  • Change
  • Organization
  • Power
  • Non-Profit
Abstract:
ABSTRACT This qualitative case study explored the shifts in power that might occur during an organizational transformation from the perspectives of both the senior management and the staff or workers. Specific activities such as the inclusion of multiple viewpoints in decision making, critical reflection on current processes, and a shift in values, assumptions and beliefs were examined as part of this power shift. Numerous perceptions were seen as essential in furthering the understanding of observations and analysis of power in organizations during transformations. The study used critical organizational theory with a postmodern lens as its framework to view power, allowing for a holistic examination of power and acknowledging that power in an organization comes in multiple types and stems from multiple sources. Power types and sources play a significant role in both the culture of the organization and the potential limitations on learning accessible to workers and ultimate transformation of the organization. This being said, in order to enhance the potential for organizational transformation cultural characteristics such as: increased self-sufficiency, wide communication, freedom of choice, creating a learning environment, and a more democratic distribution of power were considered. The study utilized a case study methodology to gather data. The intention with this design was to explore one organization through numerous data sources and perspectives. It is the interrelationship and dynamic impact that these data sources have on one another that this study examined. A spiral of analysis was done on the data encouraging a deeper and deeper understanding of the findings at each stage of the study’s progression. Findings yielded a power distribution unlike any mentioned in the literature.