Bob Long, Ph.D. is a 2019 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Long at his Dissertation Defense.
L-R: Dr. Elizabeth Holloway, Committee Chair, Dr. Laurien Alexandre, Committee Member, Dr. Patrick Smith (not shown), Committee Member.
- Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Laurien Alexandre, Ph.D., Committee Member
Patrick Smith, Ph.D., Committee Member
mayor, chief administrative officer, grounded theory, relationship functionality, relational leadership, municipality, local government, British Columbia
This study attempts to understand how the functionality of the mayor-chief administrator officer (CAO) relationship impacts the ongoing operation of these two local government positions. Looking at the structural and interpersonal aspects of the lived experience of this relationship enlightens us as to the manner in which the relationship functions. A review is made of literature on local government, generally, and on the separate roles of mayors and CAOs as well as the limited research on how their relationships operate. General relationship and leadership scholarship is used to better understand this specific relationship and its nuanced social processes. Qualitative research and, specifically, grounded theory, it is argued, is the best way to probe and better understand social processes. Thus, I used a grounded theory approach to discover a constructivist theory of how the mayor-CAO dyad operates and how certain aspects of the relationship lead to functionality. The research uncovered the primary relationship dimensions of: negotiating, strategizing, boundary setting, power sharing and harmonizing. The core relationship dimension that also contributes to the relationship’s functionality was “shapeshifting”. A heuristic model of the relationship was developed that also includes the temporal context of the relationship. Three theoretical propositions are made regarding the mayor-CAO relationship, these are: the interpersonal relationship is nested within its structural and temporal context, intersectionality and reconciliation of structural and interpersonal aspects of the relationship lead to functionality and the relationship’s collective shapeshifting capacity also contributes to functionality. The interpersonal dimensional nuances (not investigated in any earlier academic research with regards to this specific relationship) contributed to a much better understanding of how the mayor-CAO relationship functions. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/and OhioLINK ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Long, R. A. (2019). Mayors and Chief Administrative Officers Relationships: Aspects of Functional Relationships. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/519