Martha Freymann Miser, PhD, is a 2011 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Martha Miser [center] at her Dissertation Defense

L-R: Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Member, Dr. Martha Miser, Dr. Carolyn Kenney, Committee Chair

Dissertation Committee

Carolyn Kenny, PhD (Committee Chair)
Philomena Essed, PhD (Committee Member)
Amanda Sinclair, PhD (Committee Member)
Valentine Moghadam, PhD (Outside Reader)


economic growth, capitalism, consumerism, wealth accumulation, consumption, prosperity, critical globalization studies, sustainability, leadership, privilege, power, phronesis, relational practice, feminist theory, gender, world systems theory, myth

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This theoretical dissertation examines the concept of growth and its core assumption—that the continual accumulation of wealth is both socially wise and ecologically sustainable. The study challenges and offers alternatives to the myth of endless accumulation, suggesting new directions for leadership and social change. The central question posed in this inquiry: Can we craft a more ethical form of capitalism? To answer this question, the study examines conventional and critical globalization studies; feminist scholarship on standpoint, political economy, and power; and the Enlightenment notions of progress and modernism, drawing on a number of works, including Aristotle on the three intelligences, Thomas Aquinas on human need and value, and Karl Marx on capitalism. From this broad disciplinary and historical perspective, a compelling narrative emerges, one that describes how the idea of growth has intersected with power and privilege to create an overarching global imperative that threatens the viability of our species and planet. The closing sections explore potential responses to that threat, introducing consciousness, wisdom, and caring to our understanding of growth, and emphasizing the importance of relational practice to effect real social and institutional change. The electronic version of this dissertation is at OhioLINK ETD Center (


Martha Freymann Miser, Ph.D.

Martha Miser is Founder and President of Aduro Consulting, LLC, a Boston Consulting and Coaching firm specializing in leadership and change for purpose-driven companies. She is also a faculty member of George Washington University’s Executive Leadership Program and serves on the Editorial Board for the journal Coaching Perspectives.

Prior to this, Martha held leadership positions in both public and private sector organizations. Her 14 years in the financial services sector includes four years living and working in the Netherlands where she was Global Head of Leadership and Change for ING. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Hamilton/Kirkland College and a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University.

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Aduro Consulting, LLC