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Title: Engaging individuals to be effective collectives : a Ganzian analysis of leader/follower relationships in times of challenge
Author: Holt, Clare A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 4283
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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Engaging and formulating stronger working relationships within public, private and political organizations is a complex, fluid and challenging task for individuals in all positions, especially those in positions of authority and leadership. This research focuses on the engagement of people as a ‘wicked’ problem amongst middle to senior managers and some political figures. This problem is particularly apparent when individuals work across silos, in partnerships, within blame cultures, and through periods of challenge and change, especially in relation to budget cuts and constant restructuring. Using Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2012; Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Strauss and Corbin, 1994), the empirical data collated for the Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors and City Leadership (2012)1 was initially used. This initial data set provided insights and what Glaser and Strauss (1968) call ‘hunches’ into the issue of politically engaging with the citizen, producing several examples where city leaders had engaged innovatively with the citizen. To build on these ‘hunches’ further research was conducted during facilitated sessions in leadership development, identifying conversations with middle to senior managers around engaging teams, employees and partners. Three specific cases were identified and researched to examine why some organizations are failing in engaging their employees, identifying and highlighting some of the barriers preventing learning, dissent and effective change. These three cases of disorganization were compared and contrasted against three further empirical cases of organization where engagement, relationships, learning and dissent are acceptable and encouraged. Focusing on studying ‘the space between’ leaders and followers ‘to advance knowledge of relational leadership’ engaging ‘across disciplines and perspectives (Uhl-Bien, 2012: xiv - xv), the research question being addressed is ‘how can the complex, iterative processes of relationships help re-engage individual actors in a collective to tackle challenges?’ Upon analysis of the data and the literature from various disciplines (including Leadership Studies, Social Movements and Collective Identity, and Communication Studies), a heuristic framework ‘Beyond the Collective’ was constructed. Using the work of Ganz (2010) around ‘Public Narrative’ and his practical experiences working with social movements, the framework expands on his use of storytelling to understand how a collective of individuals can grapple with their problems by using New Beginnings, to Build Common Purpose for Action and Collectively Learn for the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor