Presentation Title

"There's Disgust, but There's Not Anger": Executive Leadership During Times of Transition

Location

Room 2905 A

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Qualitative Research

Abstract

In November 2013, the University System (pseudonym) announced the decision to consolidate Southern Technology University (pseudonym) with Southern Regional University (pseudonym); two institutions that are geographically close, but fundamentally different. Following the consolidation announcement, there was a significant amount of transition among executive leadership. Several key members relocated between spring and fall semester, leaving Southern Technology University with a predominantly interim Executive Cabinet to guide them through a significant transition.

This qualitative study initiated as an attempt to explore executive leadership during times of transition. The author observed weekly cabinet meetings, conducting follow up interviews with the interim president and one long standing cabinet member. Due to the unexpected and abrupt nature of the consolidation, and given the lack of information before, after, and throughout the consolidation process, the author assumed there was little concern or regard from executive leadership for the impact of the individuals with whom these decisions would effect.

However, the results from the data collection proved contrary. During the early stages of the data collection process, there were five categories that initially emerged. After analysis, four of these categories remained as true themes across the data, creating the following domains and taxonomies:

  • Initial shock/ questions the decision to consolidate
  • Acceptance of the decision despite personal feelings.
  • Concern for the students and the consistency of their experience.
  • Impact of the consolidation felt mostly by Southern Technology University.

These themes proved to be similar to Kubler- Ross’ five stages of grief as identified with attitudes toward death and dying (1997). While the primary objective of this research project, observing executive leaders during times of significant transition, was accomplished, the results and information attained through this qualitative study were unforeseen.

This poster presentation will examine the results of this study, while prompting discussion for implications and possibilities for further study.

Keywords

Executive leadership, Transition, Consolidation, Institutional change, Organizational change, Institutional growth

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-24-2015 9:30 AM

End Date

4-24-2015 10:30 AM

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Apr 24th, 9:30 AM Apr 24th, 10:30 AM

"There's Disgust, but There's Not Anger": Executive Leadership During Times of Transition

Room 2905 A

In November 2013, the University System (pseudonym) announced the decision to consolidate Southern Technology University (pseudonym) with Southern Regional University (pseudonym); two institutions that are geographically close, but fundamentally different. Following the consolidation announcement, there was a significant amount of transition among executive leadership. Several key members relocated between spring and fall semester, leaving Southern Technology University with a predominantly interim Executive Cabinet to guide them through a significant transition.

This qualitative study initiated as an attempt to explore executive leadership during times of transition. The author observed weekly cabinet meetings, conducting follow up interviews with the interim president and one long standing cabinet member. Due to the unexpected and abrupt nature of the consolidation, and given the lack of information before, after, and throughout the consolidation process, the author assumed there was little concern or regard from executive leadership for the impact of the individuals with whom these decisions would effect.

However, the results from the data collection proved contrary. During the early stages of the data collection process, there were five categories that initially emerged. After analysis, four of these categories remained as true themes across the data, creating the following domains and taxonomies:

  • Initial shock/ questions the decision to consolidate
  • Acceptance of the decision despite personal feelings.
  • Concern for the students and the consistency of their experience.
  • Impact of the consolidation felt mostly by Southern Technology University.

These themes proved to be similar to Kubler- Ross’ five stages of grief as identified with attitudes toward death and dying (1997). While the primary objective of this research project, observing executive leaders during times of significant transition, was accomplished, the results and information attained through this qualitative study were unforeseen.

This poster presentation will examine the results of this study, while prompting discussion for implications and possibilities for further study.