Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An integral-appreciative co-paradigm study of leadership and effectiveness at a public service agency: The Rockford Park District from 1972–2006
by Allen, Margaret Rose DiMarco, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2012, 397; 3548057
Abstract (Summary)

This study provides a view of leadership's impact on the transformative evolution of a real-world public service agency from an initial point of chaotic destabilization to full actualization as an effective and integral community partner, within the context of an integral-appreciative co-paradigm model. The study explores the interconnected key concepts of this transformation – values, systems, learning, community, and leadership – as revealed through the narrative voices of community interviews and historical reflections, and as related to appreciative leadership actively holding the holistic vision that allows an integral organization to emerge. Utilizing an appreciative lens, influenced by integral methodological pluralism (IMP) within the integral AQAL quadrants and the transdisciplinary perspective of both / and, the guiding question seeks new insights through this integral-appreciative analysis. The purpose is to better understand the relationship of leadership and effectiveness at a public service agency and the impact of the intersection of integral theory and the appreciative approach within first-tier quadrants on that relationship.

Analysis of the five key concepts provides insight on the advantages and challenges this organization faced in its transformational stages of development, with leadership as the necessary first, providing the dynamic energy of appreciative traits to balance and unify all the participants and components, creating a collaborative environment that generates a series of individual and organizational transformative movements and overlays, cultivating safety (based on values), cultivating learning (achieved through practice), and cultivating service (effected through partnerships). These factors converge as creative community relationships on multiple levels, with each cultural context building on the previous, nourishing the next, and establishing a self-sustaining cycle of re-generation between the three, contained within the vision of the leadership.

The ultimate result is an integrally placed public service agency that effectively meets the needs and solves the problems of the community through leadership outreach as an organization, as well as through the internal environment encouraging ongoing transformation of the organizational participants. How this transformation evolved provides a working frame of reference for other organizations considering re-structuring or facing their own moment of destabilizing chaos, which is always an opportunity to transform anew.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Combs, Allan Leslie
Commitee: Goddard, Thomas, Jones, Constance A.
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Humanities
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Public administration, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Community, Illinois, Integral-appreciative, Leadership, Learning, Public service agency, Rockford Park District, Systems, Values
Publication Number: 3548057
ISBN: 9781267832504
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