Laredo, Texas residents experienced "long lines, congestion, cries for more infrastructure, and unparalleled growth" resulting from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (Yoskowitz, Giermanski, & Pena-Sanchez, 2002, p. 26). After the enactment of NAFTA in 1994, the daily activities of residents became hampered by the movement of commercial trade through the city, the volume of which occasionally created rail freight delays as far north as Kansas (Chen, 2005). This study described how city leaders managed strained infrastructure demands and fiscal resources resulting from an increase in commercial trade and a 45% increase in population from 1990 to 2000 (Hufbauer & Schott, 2005; Momen, 2007; United States Census Bureau, 2007; Yoder & LaPerriere de Gutierrez, 2004). Five participants in the study demonstrated transformational leadership traits and effective organizational change skills when coping with NAFTA. Common themes were: (a) NAFTA drove growth, (b) city and business officials collaborated to meet challenges, and, (c) NAFTA was a positive for Laredo. One conclusion of the study was transformational leadership traits and openness to change appeared abundant during the initial phases of growth and change. Two recommendations from the study were: (1) Laredo officials should create partnerships with leaders experiencing change and, (2) policymakers should aid leaders in preparing for potential changes resulting from the advent of government policy.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Area Planning and Development, Management, Economics, Public administration|
|Keywords:||Community change, Community development, Laredo, Leadership, NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement, Organizational change, Rapid community growth, Texas|
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