Friday, February 22, 2013

Glenda Izumi's dissertation on, "Honoring Nikkei Women’s Memories of their World War II Incarceration Camp Experiences through an Ecosystemic Lens"

Glenda Izumi, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

This qualitative study reflects upon and honors 17 Nikkei (persons of Japanese ancestry residing in the United States) women’s memories of their World War II incarceration camp experiences. An ecosystemic lens was used to examine their stories that were shaped by multiple systemic layers of political, economic, environmental, personal, and cultural aspects. The data were collected from individual and open-ended interviews of women who ranged in age from 76 to 97 years old. Thematic analysis was used to understand and interpret their experiences that reflect a myriad of juxtapositions and the use of both eastern and western coping strategies.

In general, my findings deviate from earlier research that viewed the incarceration experiences through a single lens, for example, one that was namely political, historical, or psychological rather than taking a more holistic view. Contrary to earlier findings that Japanese culturally based coping strategies are typically emotion-focused, I found the Nikkei women were quite adept at employing problem-focused coping strategies as they contributed to the development of viable and productive communities for themselves and their families.

Another point of deviation from many earlier studies is the focus most of the women had on the positive aspects of their experiences and opportunities they gained from their incarceration. The injustices and oppression they faced were certainly acknowledged during the interviews, yet the women willingly expressed appreciation for opportunities they may not have had had they not been incarcerated. They were grateful for having their basic needs met in camp; the chance to strengthen and appreciate familial and community bonds; and being presented with opportunities such as education, jobs, and friendships with other Nikkei.

Several women felt empowered to share internalized feelings and private thoughts they previously did not feel comfortable or confident sharing. In particular, they revealed the impact the fatalistic and culturally embedded attitude of shikata ga nai had in creating a strong and reliable framework from which they were able to endure and even enjoy camp life. Overall, the women’s narratives reveal a consistent and profound regard for family and a will to persevere and prevail. Their stories are core to viewing the entire incarceration experience systemically.

Key words: biculturalism, Nikkei, Japanese American, women, incarceration camp, ecosystem, shikata ga nai, resilience, American concentration camp, coping strategies

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ronald W. Lawrence's dissertation on, "Contingency Factors in a Consortium's Origin and Evolution, and the Boundary Spanner's Contribution: A Case Study of the Mayflower Group"

Ronald W. Lawrence, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

Many attributes and conditions of interorganizational relationships have been identified, with numerous contingencies such as reciprocity, efficiency, stability, and legitimacy frequently assessed as driving the formation and evolution of successful interorganizational relationships. This case study describes the creation and evolution of the Mayflower Group: a knowledge-sharing consortium that has attracted many of the world’s largest, financially successful companies as members. Explanatory case study methodology is used to determine why large, well-resourced corporate entities choose to create, join, and support this knowledge-sharing consortium. Contingency factors that contribute to a knowledge-sharing consortium’s longevity and goal-achievement are examined and considered.

Successful interorganizational relationships rely on one role in particular to make the relationship work: the boundary spanner – in this case, the individual(s) who is employed within one organization and works as a representative within another organizational context. Such individuals have a dual identity and must effectively bridge two or more organizations. In the Mayflower Group, the member representatives from each company play these critical boundary spanner roles. Data have been collected through in-depth interviews, archival document analysis, and direct observations. The methodology included a thorough review of 40 years’ worth of meeting minutes, presentations, and assorted documents, noting themes across this extensive history. The methodology also included identifying key players and conducting interviews with various Mayflower Group member representatives of varying tenures with the consortium, ranging from boundary spanners covering the full 40 years to boundary spanners with less than five years in the group. The cumulative data record enabled me to reconstruct the process through which this consortium was created and evolved.

Findings support that the contingency factors of reciprocity and legitimacy are primary motivating factors in a learning-driven, knowledge-sharing consortium’s growth and longevity, and the Mayflower Group’s evolution as well as its member company motives and actions are best explained by organizational learning theory and institutional theory. There is supporting evidence that the consortium’s outcomes are significantly enabled by active participation of the boundary spanners as a collective, and that boundary spanner engagement is high because (a) they derive significant personal benefits in the forms of career-advancement, skills-building, and personal development; and (b) enjoy meaningful social interactions as a community of practice.

These are potentially transferable findings about boundary spanners and interorganizational relationships that could be considered by other companies contemplating or actively engaging in such linkages.

Key Words: consortium, interorganizational relationships, boundary spanners, contingency factors, reciprocity, legitimacy, organizational learning theory, institutional theory, knowledge-sharing, community of practice, social capital, Mayflower Group

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sam Rockwell's dissertation on, "Denominational Identity and Ministerial Identity Congruence within the Foursquare Church"

Sam Rockwell, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

American denominational organizations have evolved in purpose, role, and structure since their beginnings in the 17th century. However, the decline of mainstream denominations that started in the 1960s has left these organizations in a crisis of retrenchment as their identities, missions, and very legitimacy all come under question in what has been called a “post-denominational” and even “post-Christian” age. Redefining and revitalizing their organizational identities represent a key opportunity of American denominations in the challenging climate they face today. The purpose of this study was to determine the identity and degree of identity congruence (prototypicality) among licensed ministers of the Foursquare Church. This study utilized a quantitative survey design to examine the identity and degree of identity congruence (prototypicality) among licensed ministers of the Foursquare Church. A total of 468 active, licensed ministers of the Foursquare Church in the United States were randomly selected from the total population of 6,750 ministers. Potential candidates were invited to participate in a mail survey. The survey asked participants to rank 23 salient identity properties organized into five categories as outlined by Roozen (2005): polity, structure, people, practice, purpose, theology. Additionally, the researcher has added program traditions. Participants also were asked to report their own beliefs and practices related to the 23 identity distinctives. Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance were determined for the data. The findings revealed that the participants, in general, both supported the identity distinctives and also identified with them. Based on these findings, three implications are evident. First, it is important to leverage the pastors’ strong identification with polity and structure to create a district nexus strategy that bridges local and national polarities. Second, it is advisable to nurture a compelling and distinctive Pentecostal theological identity by framing a deeper and broader Pentecostal “ethos” and resist a narrowly defined and doctrinaire Pentecostalism. Third, it is recommended to celebrate and promote a prototypical leader who embodies its historic identity and at once anticipates the demography and spiritual dynamism of the future Foursquare Church.

Keywords: Organizational behavior, Identity, Identification, Foursquare Church, Pentecostalism, Organization culture

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rebecca Carmi's dissertation on, "Jewish Music and its Implications for Strengthening Identity, Imparting Wisdom, and Facilitating Historical Healing: An Autoethnographic and Performative Inquiry into a Life Dedicated to Jewish Music"

Rebecca Carmi, Fielding's School of Educational Leadership & Change

The purpose of this research was to explore the power of a personal and ethnic Jewish musical tradition to develop identity, impart wisdom, and facilitate historical healing in an age fraught with ethnic misunderstandings, racial hatred, and religious intolerance. This autoethnography, coupled with performative inquiry, examined the personal experience of the author as a young child, music student, cantorial student, professional clergy member, international performer, and finally as an organizer of diplomatic missions involving bringing music back to sites of genocide perpetrated against Jews as a bridge to reconciliation. The importance of Jewish music in the author's life was examined through a series of autoethnographic vignettes that were paired with an accompanying piece of recorded music. Thus this dissertation is comprised of both written text and a studio-made CD. The autoethnograhic data support the use of honoring endemic forms of music as a key strategy in countering the ever-prevalent racist and even genocidal practices across the globe, advocating for the recognition of shared values and humanity as embodied by unique musical traditions, while telling a singular and particular story of the successful experience and transmission of a tradition and its usefulness in peace work.

Key words: Autoethnography, performative inquiry, Jewish music, music for peace work.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Patricia H. Hendrickson's dissertation on, "Test Driving Gender in Virtual Worlds"

Patricia H. Hendrickson, Fielding's School of Educational Leadership & Change

The purpose of this classic grounded theory study is to offer an understanding of one aspect of the increasing digitization of contemporary life in which a male may adopt a female persona or vice-versa. The researcher explains how individuals consciously test drive gender in Massively Multiplayer Online Virtual Worlds (MMOVWs). Test driving gender occurs because the person creating a virtual identity has a preference or inclination to represent the identity as a gender other than that designated at birth. By creating a new depiction for the online environment, the person realizes the preference or inclination. This study began with an interview of an adult who engages in MMOVWs as a leisure-time activity. Subsequent interviews commenced with other adults who socialized in MMOVWs. The core variable of test driving gender emerged after coding and comparing interview data. Significant to the experiences of the participants in this study is the complex nature of new and emerging technologies, the blending of real and online worlds, and certain levels of anonymity that the Internet allows. The behaviors of individuals within MMOVWs form in response to the interrelated and inseparable issues of identity and adaptive strategies that straddle both worlds. People who test drive gender are unique because of the ease in which they engage in virtual worlds unrestricted by the real-world gender designated at birth. Gender switching for them is significant and, at once, problematic because others in their virtual communities cannot easily identify them by one persistent identity in one persistent milieu. When people test drive gender in a virtual world, the choice results in one of five possible paths of engagement which participants termed roleplaying, alting, representing, ogling, and defaulting. People chose the paths based upon various motivations, conditions, and perceived benefits. The consequence of researching the substantive area of virtual worlds, is that new motivations and conditions are presented that explain the behavior of gender switching. Gender can be learned, managed, and used to manipulate others. This new information may provide enhanced considerations and options in gender identity education.

Key words: virtual worlds, gender switching, identity, symbolic interactionism, grounded theory, gender dysphoria, roleplaying

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kathy Kaya's dissertation on, "Creating Ripples: An Exploration of Sansei Women's Experiences of Expressive Practices in a Holistic Approach to Learning About Oppression and Privilege"

Kathy Kaya, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

Although much has been written recently about holistic orientations to transformative learning, including its theoretical foundations and frameworks for designing learning experiences that engage multiple epistemologies, little is known about learners’ experiences and about how engaging multiple epistemologies can foster learning that is transformative. This qualitative study explored roles that expressive practices, which have been shown to engage various ways of knowing, can play in a holistic group learning process. The exploration was conducted with 12 Sansei women participants who examined their experiences of oppression and privilege. Heron’s extended epistemological framework was used to construct the learning process to engage multiple epistemologies, and a feminist research paradigm informed the research methodology.

The findings resulted in a taxonomy that comprises 19 roles of expressive practices organized into four learning functions: foster presencing, nurture empathic understanding, catalyze deeper inquiry into experiences, and engage in expressive ways of knowing. The findings contribute to the transformative learning literature by identifying learning functions not characterized previously and by illuminating the ways expressive practices help bridge experiential knowing and propositional knowing. They also advance existing theories by demonstrating that multiple ways of knowing are equal partners in the process of meaning making and transformation.

The study contributes in two other ways. It illustrates the potentially transformational power of a holistic approach to social justice education and suggests possible application to other learning contexts. Because the study was conducted with Sansei women, whose cultural perspectives, values, and practices influenced their experiences with the various expressive practices, findings suggest the need for educators to consider the cultural backgrounds of learners in designing and facilitating learning processes.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ann M. Johnston's dissertation on, "Narratives as Navigation Tools in Support of Executive Global Leadership Development"

Ann M. Johnston, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

This qualitative study is grounded in global leadership development theory and explores the theoretical concept of global mindset. Global mindset is the combination of an internal and external way of being in the world where global leaders actively seek to engage and reflect upon perspectives and orientations that both complement and contradict their own worldview. Short-term international assignments, including business travel, provide the context in this study for participant reflection on their development as global leaders.

Through the explication of the narratives of 16 global supply chain leaders within a multinational corporate setting, global leader development in real world contexts is reflected upon as a continuous evolution over time that is focused less on becoming a cultural expert and more on being culturally responsive in order to build relationships and achieve business results. These findings challenge the prevailing primacy of expatriate assignments as the preferred development strategy for global leaders.

Contrary to that prevailing notion that becoming a global leader requires immersion in another culture for an extended period of time is the reality that global leadership development, in particular the development of global mindset, is occurring through short-term international assignments that are significantly underrepresented in the literature. This study contributes to research and practice related to global mindset, cultural sense-making, and culturally responsive global leadership.

Key Words: global leadership development; global mindset; narrative; short-term international assignments

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

James Harding's dissertation on, "Variation in Ways Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs) Make Meaning of the Fiduciary Construct"

James Harding, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

This study’s purpose was to uncover the variation in ways CFA charter holders make meaning of the fiduciary construct. The approach used was phenomenography. Through the analysis of in-depth interview transcripts the researcher created categories of description. The categories were the fiduciary construct as meeting another’s needs before our own, the fiduciary construct as contributing to another investment process, the fiduciary construct as defining a profession, the fiduciary construct as reflecting on actions, the fiduciary construct as seeing the world from the client’s perspective, and the fiduciary construct as acting morally. These categories were grouped in a hierarchical and logical manner to form an outcome space. The findings also supported two tiers of fiduciary meaning. The first tier focused on the technical needs of fiduciary work. The second tier focused on the non-technical, caretaker needs of the work.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Kimberly D. Thompson's dissertation on, "The Impact of Depressive Cognitions on Postpartum Depressive Symptoms and Maternal Attitudes"

Kimberly D. Thompson, Ph.D., Fielding's School of Psychology

This study examined cognitive patterns known to be associated with depression and their relationship specifically to postpartum depression and dysfunctional maternal attitudes. The literature review situated postpartum depression and dysfunctional maternal attitudes within personal construct psychology, the interactional model of depression, and the hopelessness theory of depression. Cognitive patterns examined were socially prescribed perfectionism and the dimensions of self-silencing. Results indicated that socially prescribed perfectionism and externalized self-perception are significant predictors of both dysfunctional maternal attitudes and postpartum depression, and that dysfunctional maternal attitudes and the experience of a divided self provide significant mediation between both externalized self-perception and socially prescribed perfectionism and postpartum depression.

Key words: postpartum depression, postnatal depression, socially prescribed perfectionism, silencing the self, maternal attitudes

Friday, February 1, 2013

Latisha Webb's dissertation on, "Discovering the Authentic Self: The Concurrent Processes of Being and Becoming"

Latisha Webb, Fielding's School of Educational Leadership & Change

Originally, the purpose of this study was to develop a grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) in the substantive area of identity formation (Cross & Cross, 2007; Erikson, 1980), with a gender-specific focus on women (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986; Gilligan, 1982; Jones & Shorter-Gooden, 2003). After much deliberation, I interviewed men to generate a theory that meets the grounded theory evaluation requirements. Ten women and three men from various lifestyles provided qualitative data through in-depth interviews. The core variable, Discovering the Authentic Self, emerged from the data. Discovering the Authentic Self includes the journey of the outer self reflecting the inner self, which creates personal harmony. The authentic self consists of basic human needs and core values. The journey of Discovering the Authentic Self occurred in the concurrent processes of Being and Becoming. The participants lived their lives every day as they engaged in the process of Being. During the process of Being, the participants figured things out, concentrated, set goals, and remained grounded. During the process of Becoming, the participants envisioned, remained conscious, learned by observation and directly from others, and recognized milestones. The participants’ innate desires to satisfy their basic needs and align their core values internally and externally motivated them to discover their authentic selves. Their internal motivators included self-identifying, having a willingness to learn, develop, and explore, and doing inner work. Their external motivators included life circumstances, other people’s expectations, and exposure. The participants also experienced internal and external hindrances. Their internal hindrances included self-doubting, fearing, being unwilling, and changing one’s mind. Like their external motivators, the participants’ external hindrances included life circumstances, other people’s expectations, and exposure. The cyclical process of Being and Becoming occurred when the participants took the initiative. The participants faced internal and external factors in the cyclical process of Being and Becoming by overcoming obstacles. Finally, the participants experienced their authentic selves on six interdependent domains: spiritual, psychological, emotional, sexual, physical, and social. Recommendations for practice to individuals, mental health professionals, spiritual leaders, parents, and entrepreneurs are discussed.

Keywords: identity formation, authentic self, self-discovery, being and becoming, grounded theory, internal and external motivators and hindrances