Leaders’ transitions : experiences of four directors of education during school division restructuring in rural Saskatchewan
Kirk, Jacqueline Helen
The purpose of this study was to build an understanding of the transitional experiences of four Directors of Education who led school division restructuring initiatives in rural Saskatchewan. The data regarding the participants’ experiences were collected through participant observation, a survey, and a series of three interviews in which the participants were asked to describe their transitional experiences. Additionally, an interview with a member of the Restructuring Coordinating Committee and a process of document analysis provided further information about the restructuring initiative in which the Directors were involved. The conceptual framework for this study included the work of several researchers who had previously focused on transitions. It included the concept that transitions took place in three non-linear stages: the ending, the neutral zone, and the beginning. Additionally, the conceptual framework reflected the belief that transitions are influenced by the individual’s personal circumstances. This study added to the collective knowledge of change leadership as it chronicled the lived experiences of leaders who went through personal transitions while in the process of leading change and managing the transitions of employees within their organization. This study utilized a multiple case study design to explore the transitional experiences of educational leaders, charged with the task of leading organizational restructuring. Participants included four Directors of Education from rural Saskatchewan school divisions that were involved in the January 2006 provincial restructuring initiative. The data analysis resulted in three understandings: a) Variations in personal circumstances have a significant impact on the way that individuals experience transitions. b) Relationship building is a key component of the transition process. c) The leader must first negotiate interpersonal relationships and then focus on repatterning processes and building relationships within the organization.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorStelmach, Bonnie; Sackney, Larry
CommitteeCarr-Stewart, Sheila; Pushor, Debbie; Cottrell, Michael; Bohac-Clarke, Veronika
Copyright DateSeptember 2009