JansenChris thesis_fulltext.pdf - Leadership development...

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Unformatted text preview: Leadership development through appreciative inquiry : complexity thinking in the non-government (NGO) sector A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education at the University of Canterbury School of Educational Studies and Leadership by Chris Jansen University of Canterbury 2014 CONTENTS CONTENTS ..........................................................................................................2 ABSTRACT ..........................................................................................................8 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ..............................................................................10 DECLARATION................................................................................................12 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION—SITUATING THIS STUDY .................13 1.1 CHAPTER OUTLINE .................................................................................................... 13 1.2 RATIONALE FOR THIS PROJECT................................................................................. 13 1.2.1 Initial curiosity and intuition ............................................................................... 13 1.2.2 An gap and an opportunity .................................................................................. 14 1.2.3 Seizing the opportunity........................................................................................ 15 1.3 THE CHRISTCHURCH NGO LEADERSHIP PROJECT ................................................. 16 1.3.1 Background.......................................................................................................... 16 1.3.2 Adoption of appreciative inquiry......................................................................... 17 1.3.3 Research questions .............................................................................................. 17 1.3.4 Structure of the project ........................................................................................ 18 1.4 THESIS STRUCTURE ................................................................................................... 19 Chapter 2: Literature review: Shifting leadership paradigms and complexity thinking ........................................................................................................................................... 19 Chapter 3: Literature review: Leadership development processes ............................... 19 Chapter 4: Methodology ............................................................................................... 20 Chapter 5: Leadership beliefs, values and influences .................................................. 20 Chapter 6: Leadership actions in a complexity framework .......................................... 21 Chapter 7: Leadership learning processes .................................................................... 21 Chapter 8: Conclusions and wider implications ........................................................... 22 SECTION 1: LITERATURE REVIEWS AND METHODOLOGY ............23 CHAPTER 2: SHIFTING LEADERSHIP PARADIGMS AND COMPLEXITY THINKING ............................................................................24 2.1 CHAPTER OUTLINE .................................................................................................... 24 2.2 SHIFTING LEADERSHIP PARADIGMS .......................................................................... 24 2.2.1 Change is changing: 21st-century challenges and opportunities ......................... 24 2.2.2 Technical problems versus adaptive challenges .................................................. 26 2.2.3 A critique of industrial age thinking and leadership frameworks ....................... 27 2.2.4 A critique of heroic leadership ............................................................................ 28 2.2.5 Organisational and leadership paradigm shifts.................................................... 29 2.3 LEADERSHIP IN THE NGO SECTOR ........................................................................... 30 2.3.1 The relevance of the NGO sector ........................................................................ 30 2.3.2 NGOs: The ‘third’ sector ..................................................................................... 30 2.3.3 Fluid roles in the NGO sector .............................................................................. 31 2.3.4 Distinctive characteristics of NGO leadership .................................................... 32 2.3.5 Extent of NGO-based leadership studies ............................................................. 32 2.4 COMPLEXITY THINKING ............................................................................................ 33 2.4.1 Exploring an alternative: complexity-informed leadership ................................. 33 Leadership development through Appreciative Inquiry: Chris Jansen 2014 2 2.4.2 Definition ............................................................................................................. 34 2.4.3 Background of the ‘new sciences’ ....................................................................... 35 2.4.4 Links to systems thinking and chaos theory ........................................................ 36 2.4.5 Complex adaptive systems (CAS) ....................................................................... 38 2.4.6 Complex dynamics .............................................................................................. 38 2.5 CHARACTERISTICS AND CONDITIONS OF COMPLEX ADAPTIVE SYSTEMS ................ 39 2.5.1 Individuals acting as independent agents ............................................................ 39 2.5.2 Interdependence through interactions with neighbours ....................................... 40 2.5.3 Self-organisation through decentralised control .................................................. 40 2.5.4 Motivation as an outcome of threat or opportunity (attractors) .......................... 41 2.6 SELF-ORGANISATION AND EMERGENCE.................................................................... 41 2.6.1 Occasioning emergence ....................................................................................... 41 2.6.2 Enabling constraints ............................................................................................ 42 2.7 ORGANISATIONAL APPLICATIONS OF COMPLEXITY THINKING ................................ 43 Figure 4: Organisational applications of complexity thinking ..................................... 44 2.7.1 Viewing organisations through a ‘living systems lens’ ....................................... 44 2.7.2 Organisational design and social architecture ..................................................... 46 2.7.3 Conscious learning and intention ........................................................................ 48 2.7.4 Adaptation and change ........................................................................................ 49 2.8 COMPLEXITY THINKING IN LEADERSHIP .................................................................. 50 2.8.1 Implications for leadership practice .................................................................... 50 2.8.2 Stimulate change and adaptation ......................................................................... 52 2.8.3 Foster collective intelligence ............................................................................... 55 2.8.4 Build capacity through enabling others ............................................................... 56 2.9 A SUMMATIVE COMMENT .......................................................................................... 58 CHAPTER 3: LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT APPROACHES .............59 3.1 CHAPTER OUTLINE .................................................................................................... 59 3.2 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES .................................................................. 59 3.2.1 Modes of development ........................................................................................ 59 3.2.2 Comprehensive leadership development programmes ........................................ 61 3.2.3 Underlying frameworks ....................................................................................... 62 3.3 EMERGING SHIFTS IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT .................................................. 63 3.3.1 Contextualised work-centred learning ................................................................. 65 3.3.2 Ownership and personalisation............................................................................ 67 3.3.3 Collective leadership capacity building............................................................... 68 3.3.4 Measured efficacy and sustainability .................................................................. 69 3.4 APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY ............................................................................................ 71 3.4.1 Rationale .............................................................................................................. 71 3.4.2 Overview ............................................................................................................. 71 3.4.3 Key principles and assumptions .......................................................................... 72 3.4.4 Foundations in the field of positive psychology.................................................. 74 3.4.5 Appreciative inquiry and organisational development ........................................ 74 3.4.6 The use of appreciative inquiry in leadership development ................................ 76 3.4.7 Appreciative inquiry processes and protocols ..................................................... 77 3.4.8 Broadening the scope from leadership development to research methodology .. 79 Leadership development through Appreciative Inquiry: Chris Jansen 2014 3 CHAPTER 4: METHODOLOGY ...................................................................80 4.1 CHAPTER OUTLINE .................................................................................................... 80 4.2 RESEARCH PARADIGM ............................................................................................... 80 4.2.1 An interpretive approach ..................................................................................... 80 4.3 RESEARCH STRATEGY: APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY AS ACTION RESEARCH ................. 82 4.3.1 Defining appreciative inquiry research ............................................................... 82 4.3.2 Links to action research ....................................................................................... 83 4.3.3 Similarities and differences between appreciative inquiry and action research .. 84 4.3.4 Considerations when adopting appreciative inquiry research ............................. 85 4.4 APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY RESEARCH DESIGN AND STAGES........................................ 86 4.4.1 Summary overview .............................................................................................. 86 4.4.2 Setting the timeline and working through the research process stages ............... 89 4.4.3 A more detailed account of aspects of the research process ............................... 92 4.5 OTHER RESEARCH-DESIGN-BASED CONSIDERATIONS ............................................ 101 4.5.1 Ethical issues and ethical approval for the study............................................... 101 4.5.2 Limitations specific to the research approach ................................................... 101 4.5.3 Validity and trustworthiness of the data and findings ....................................... 103 SECTION 2: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ...............................................104 CHAPTER 5: LEADERSHIP BELIEFS, VALUES AND INFLUENCES 105 5.1 CHAPTER OUTLINE .................................................................................................. 105 5.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NGO CONTEXT ........................................................... 105 5.2.1 Comparing the NGO sector and the business sector ......................................... 105 5.3 MORAL PURPOSE ..................................................................................................... 109 5.3.1 Making a difference ........................................................................................... 109 5.3.2 Changing people’s lives .................................................................................... 110 5.3.3 Changing organisations ..................................................................................... 112 5.3.4 Changing communities ...................................................................................... 113 5.4 DEEPLY HELD VALUES ............................................................................................. 114 5.4.1 Long-term commitment ..................................................................................... 114 5.4.2 Dignity, respect and compassion ....................................................................... 115 5.4.3 Equity and justice .............................................................................................. 116 5.4.4 Generosity and stewardship ............................................................................... 116 5.4.5 Humility............................................................................................................. 117 5.4.6 Quality and excellence ...................................................................................... 118 5.4.7 Honesty and integrity ........................................................................................ 118 5.5 VALUE CONGRUENCE .............................................................................................. 119 5.6 INFLUENCES ON LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ........................................................ 120 5.6.1 Upbringing ......................................................................................................... 120 5.6.2 Faith, culture and identity .................................................................................. 122 5.6.3 Significant others ............................................................................................... 123 5.6.4 Being trusted to lead others ............................................................................... 124 5.6.5 Becoming a leader by accident .......................................................................... 125 5.7 CALLING, ALIGNMENT AND FLOW........................................................................... 125 5.7.1 Calling: a change in life and career direction .................................................... 125 Leadership development through Appreciative Inquiry: Chris Jansen 2014 4 5.7.2 Flow, alignment and engagement ...................................................................... 128 5.8 A SUMMATIVE COMMENT ........................................................................................ 129 CHAPTER 6: LEADERSHIP ACTIONS IN A COMPLEXITY FRAMEWORK ................................................................................................130 6.1 CHAPTER OUTLINE .................................................................................................. 130 6.2 A COMPLEXITY-THINKING FRAMEWORK FOR LEADERSHIP ................................... 130 6.2.1 Recognising the relevance of complexity thinking to leadership ...................... 130 6.2.2 The characteristics of self-organisation: examples in the NGO sector ............. 131 6.3 THE CHANGING ROLE OF LEADER ........................................................................... 133 6.3.1 Shifting from power to influence ...................................................................... 133 6.3.2 Becoming a catalyst ........................................................................................... 134 6.3.3 Fostering networks instead of hierarchies ......................................................... 134 6.3.4 Noticing self-organisation—‘goo glasses’ ........................................................ 135 6.4 FACILITATING SELF-ORGANISATION: LEADERSHIP ACTIONS ................................ 135 6.5 PROACTIVELY MENTOR INDIVIDUALS ..................................................................... 136 6.5.1 Recognise and value people .............................................................................. 137 6.5.2 Develop people’s skills and strengths ............................................................... 139 6.6 FOSTER INTERACTION AND SHARED LEARNING...................................................... 142 6.6.1 Role-model generative listening and learning ................................................... 143 6.6.2 Develop organisational culture .......................................................................... 144 6.6.3 Build in mechanisms for dialogue ..................................................................... 146 6.7 DISTRIBUTE POWER AND DECENTRALISE CONTROL............................................... 147 6.7.1 Foster interdependent leadership roles .............................................................. 149 6.7.2 Share ownership and responsibility ................................................................... 151 6.7.3 Host collaborative conversations ....................................................................... 152 6.8 ARTICULATE SHARED VISION AND VALUES............................................................. 152 6.8.1 Seek out shared values....................................................................................... 154 6.8.2 Disempower ego by focusing on humility......................................................... 155 6.8.3 Gain clarity of focus .......................................................................................... 157 6.9 A SUMMATIVE COMMENT ........................................................................................ 160 CHAPTER 7: LEADERSHIP LEARNING PROCESSES .........................161 7.1 CHAPTER OUTLINE .................................................................................................. 161 7.2 BENEFITS OF THE CANTERBURY NGO LEADERSHIP PROJECT ............................. 161 7.2.1 Building connections and belonging ................................................................. 162 7.2.2 Increased credibility and profile ........................................................................ 164 7.2.3 Collaboration instead of competition ................................................................ 164 7.2.4 Time out and renewal of motivation ................................................................. 165 7.2.5 Reflective learning and growth ......................................................................... 166 7.2.6 Implementing leadership actions ....................................................................... 167 7.3 KEY DESIGN COMPONENTS IN CREATING A LEARNING COMMUNITY ..................... 168 7.3.1 Negotiation of a flexible and responsive structure ............................................ 168 7.3.2 Authentic sharing of positive, personalised stories ........................................... 170 7.3.3 Cycles of exploration and learning .................................................................... 171 Leadership development through Appreciative Inquiry: Chris Jansen 2014 5 7.3.4 Individual and collective reflection ................................................................... 174 7.3.5 Significant time frame and commitment ........................................................... 176 7.3.6 High-quality external input and intentional facilitation .................................... 177 7.4 COMPLEXITY-INFORMED LEADERSHIP LEARNING PROCESSES...
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