Maria E. Dezenberg, Ph.D. is a 2017 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Maria E. Dezenberg [center] at her Dissertation Defense with Dissertation Chair, Dr. Lize Booysen [left] and Dissertation Committee Member, Dr. Elizabeth Holloway [right].
- Lize Booysen, DBL, Committee Chair
- Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Harriet Schwartz, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Placida Gallegos, Ph.D., Committee Member
Conventional forms of leadership that are prominent in organizational life today are seemingly antithetical to the landscape of our dynamic, global society. The continued focus on traditional hierarchies with leadership that functions in a “chain of command” manner begs the question of how organizations can reshape routines and relationships to reflect processes of inclusion and collaboration that have the capability of provoking progressive change in organizations. Diversity and Inclusion scholars have identified the newer construct of inclusive leadership as apt to advance climates and cultures of inclusion through social processes that encourage inclusive practices and behaviors. These fluid aspects of inclusive leadership strengthen how organizations foster the engagement of organizational members across groups, functions, and/or levels to stimulate change within work settings. While scholars have ascertained the necessity of expanding our knowledge of the inclusion construct by examining inclusion in more depth, inclusive leadership remains an anomaly as it positions leadership as a collective, social process. The complexities associated with research in this area were instrumental in my choice to pursue an exploratory critical (single) case study with grounded theory for this dissertation research to better understand the social processes associated with inclusive leadership within a contained work environment. This multiple method qualitative study utilized intensive interviewing, field observations, and document reviews to explore inclusive leadership in a K-12 school district. Thematic, content, and dimensional analyses elicited findings associated with human connection, change, and evolving contexts associated with inclusive systems. The overlapping case study and grounded theory findings served as the basis for the development of an inclusive leadership model. The research provided empirical evidence of inclusive leadership’s effect on organizational climates and cultures eliciting four theoretical propositions that expand scholarship in the areas inclusive leadership, inclusive practices and behaviors, and climates and cultures of inclusion. Recommendations for future research invite further exploration of inclusive leadership with inquiry across multiple organizations and/or different sectors with the use of different research designs to build on this study’s findings. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and OhioLINK ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu
Dezenberg, M. E. (2017). Inclusive Leadership's Evolving Context: Organizational Climate and Culture Connect. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/390
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