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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership and the Learning Organization: A Case Study of Influence on the Adaptive Capacity of a Financial Services Firm
by Stefanchin, James E., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2014, 302; 3615762
Abstract (Summary)

The operating landscape for banks and other financial institutions continues to change as massive law is implemented. This, coupled with advances in technology, has greatly increased consumer power. To remain compliant and competitive, financial services organizations must adapt to these environmental variations and continually renew their strategic orientations. To gain competitive advantage, organizations must learn faster than their competitors. Interpreting the environment and charting a path for the future is a function of leadership. However, our understanding of leadership's role in developing an organizational learning capability is limited.

The purpose of this qualitative single-case study was to describe leadership's influence on the subsystems that support an organizational learning capability within a U.S. financial services firm. The case involved a 107-year old financial institution in the Northeastern region of the United States. Using Marquardt's (2011) Systems Learning Organization Model as an analytic frame, a descriptive model of influence emerged via document review, direct and participant observation, and 21 semistructured interviews.

Through analysis of influence on the subsystems of organization, people, learning, knowledge, and technology, 10 findings contributed to four study conclusions: (1) leadership perceptions of organizational learning are supported with congruent action, (2) leadership's ability to manage tensions contributes to a robust organizational learning capability, (3) leadership drives adaptive social structuring that enhances all five subsystems, and (4) leadership encourages relational dialogue that supports the interdependency of organizational subsystems.

Answering a call for greater understanding of leadership's role in organizational learning (Crossan, Maurer, & White, 2011; von Krogh, Nonaka, & Rechsteiner, 2012), this research highlights the nature of relational leadership. Additionally, the data suggest that Marquardt's (2011) Systems Learning Organization Model may be enhanced by adding dimensions of regulators and vicarious learning to the people and learning subsystems, respectively.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marquardt, Michael J.
Commitee: Gorman Kirchoff, Margaret, Wangemann, Mary Ann
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human and Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organizational behavior, Banking
Keywords: Influence, Knowledge, Leadership, Learning organization, Organizational learning
Publication Number: 3615762
ISBN: 978-1-303-81844-8
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