Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Grounded Theory Study on How District Managers Navigate the Corporate/Field Paradox
by A. Dormani, Nazanin, Ph.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2018, 273; 10932685
Abstract (Summary)

Across industries and organizations, some managers hold dual roles that require them to meet various demands between internal and external work settings. Further, while these demands may be understood as interrelated and complementary, they can be simultaneously experienced as mutually exclusive, creating paradoxical tensions. This study applied a grounded theory (GT) method to better understand how district managers (DMs) navigated the ‘corporate/field paradox’ in their dual role. Specifically, the DMs were corporate employees who worked remotely in the field to support their respective regional stores, to essentially help their company succeed in the retail industry. Based on a social constructivist approach, 17 DMs’ perspectives were gathered through an online questionnaire, and intensive interviews, to generate a theory that reflects how this social process is experienced and understood. Both individual and organizational facets were considered in the dual role navigation of the corporate/field paradox. The following theoretical elements were identified: context (personal and organizational), interpersonal dynamics (relationships, influencing effectiveness, communications), intrapersonal dynamics (cognition, emotions, challenges/rewards), overall impacts (personal and organizational), and adapting. Overall, the generated ‘Corporate/Field Paradox Theory’ from this study proposes an interactive systems approach to better understanding how DMs navigate between all of these interrelated elements. For future research and practice, this theory offers a more holistic and nonlinear interpretation of how paradoxes might be experienced.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Leahy, Martin
Commitee: Fraser, Malcolm, Schwab, Elizabeth
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Psychology, Organization Theory
Keywords: Grounded theory, Industrial/organizational psychology, Leadership, Management consulting, Paradox, Systems theory
Publication Number: 10932685
ISBN: 978-0-438-64410-6
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