Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Catalyzing Collective Action: A Grounded Theory of Network Leadership
by Stiver, Dustin Cory, Ph.D., Eastern University, 2017, 274; 10603631
Abstract (Summary)

Networks are the connective tissue tying together individuals and organizations working toward shared aims. Increasingly, communities are adopting network-based strategies to collaboratively contend with society’s most vexing challenges and create lasting community change. This often occurs when addressing problems that are more complex and entangled than any one individual or organization can tackle on their own, such as education reform, affordable housing, or income inequality.

Individuals who assume leadership roles within networks—the researcher refers to these people as network leaders—must identify effective strategies to activate network members and unlock agency within stakeholders to empower them to contribute to a shared mission. This study specifically focused on research subjects who were professionally engaged as network leaders, and sought to uncover characteristics that network leaders exhibit and strategies that network leaders employ when performing their unique role.

The findings of this Constructivist Grounded Theory study center around the primary research question: How do network leaders catalyze collective action? The theory of network leadership proposed herein is derived from data collected from 27 network leaders. The model creates a framework for understanding the phenomenon of network leadership. The Phases and Critical Tasks of network leadership are moderated by the Network Leadership Core Engagement Process and the Network Culture, which is in turn influenced by the Characteristics of the Network Leader Profile and collaboratively developed Network Agreements . The theoretical model is grounded in the data and designed to be an accessible framework for understanding how network leaders catalyze collective action.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Birmingham, Beth
Commitee: Kelly, James, Klaus, Thomas
School: Eastern University
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Management, Public administration, Organization Theory
Keywords: Collaboration, Collective action, Gounded theory, Leadership, Networks
Publication Number: 10603631
ISBN: 978-0-355-48812-8
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