Shana D. Lynn Hormann, PhD, is a 2007 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.Shana D. Lynn Hormann, Ph.D, M.S.W..
Dr. Hormann at her Dissertation Defense with Dissertation Committee
L-R : Dr. Jon Wergin, Committee Member ; Dr. Shana Hormann; Dr. Carolyn Kenny, Committee Chair; Dr. Laurien Alexandre, Committee Member
Not Shown : Dr. Richard Vedan, External Reader
While some organizations die when trauma erupts, others do not succumb. They live and even thrive. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1. To learn from leaders their perspectives about key conditions that allow organizations to withstand and heal from organizational trauma; and, 2. To inform practice about building and strengthening these conditions in organizations. Participants were leaders who led their organizations during an organizational trauma or who came into programs after the trauma occurred to facilitate recovery. Nine executive directors for sexual assault programs participated in this hermeneutic phenomenological study, sharing their experiences and reflections. Two composite depictions were created that share the richness of the leaders’ lifeworlds, including rural and urban differences, the distinctions in the traumas they experienced, and their responses. Each composite was analyzed and interpreted using current conceptualizations of organizational trauma. Three themes emerged from the experiences shared by the leaders: spirituality, commitment to anti-sexual violence work, and community. Spirituality was named by participants as foundational, one of their strongest relationships and a core belief. Commitment to the work included feeling called to work with victims, a personal history of violence, and being part of the larger anti-sexual violence movement. Both internal and external communities were identified as important for support and for service delivery. A review of the literature revealed a gap between clinical research on secondary trauma that focuses on individuals and does not consider organizational trauma or a systemic approach to addressing trauma, and organizational development research, which is systemic in nature but does not address trauma, individual or organizational. Leaders in this study shared their experiences of secondary trauma and organizational trauma and expressed that at times the two were intertwined, affirming the need for interventions that bridge individuals and organizations. The author argues for a coherent theory of organizational trauma and suggests an approach for practitioners who work with traumatized systems. She also offers a model to assist practitioners visually represent and understand entry points for trauma and entry points for healing within a system.
Hormann, S. D. (2007). Organizational Trauma: A Phenomenological Study of Leaders in Traumatized Organizations. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/184