Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Here Be Dragons: How Global Business Executives Navigate Change and Paradox
by Nelson, Janet Ann, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2018, 279; 10747735
Abstract (Summary)

Here Be Dragons: How Global Business Executives Navigate Change and Paradox Globalization has resulted in increased international trade, enhanced information flows, diasporas, and a greater dependence on the global economy, as well as dramatically changing the context in which leaders operate today. Studies show that there is a shortage of global leaders and that most organizations are concerned that this lack of global leadership skills may threaten corporate performance and continued business growth. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how senior executives in globally integrated business enterprises navigate change, as viewed through the lens of paradox theory. This exploratory study employed a basic qualitative design. Data were collected from 23 global executives, working for 20 unique global enterprises, in 12 different functions, across 18 different industries, through a preinterview participant qualifying profile, an in-depth semistructured interview, and follow-up verification.

The key findings of this study build on existing research and show that (1) executives who are global leaders are contextual leaders; (2) global leadership roles are inherently paradoxical because they balance both task complexities and relationship complexities; (3) for these global executives, change is continuous and contextual; (4) paradox is the process that global executives use to navigate continuous change; (5) global executives are savvy sensemakers; (6) the global leadership capabilities to navigate paradox can be learned, and global leaders are constant and agile learners; and (7) to navigate change, executives who are global leaders oscillate/balance constantly by navigating paradox + sensemaking + learning. The study concludes with implications for theory and practice, along with recommendations for further research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marquardt, Michael J.
Commitee: Khilji, Shaista E., Storberg-Walker, Julia
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human & Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, International Relations, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Global leadership, Learning agility, Navigating change, Paradox, Sensemaking
Publication Number: 10747735
ISBN: 978-0-355-76865-7
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