Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

11-12-2012

Comments

Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: John C. Eldred

Abstract

In order for leaders to be the most effective it is beneficial that they be self-aware. Part of being self-aware is to understand how our own bias plays a part in how we frame, view or project information received or transmitted to others. To enable participants of the Organization Dynamics program to become more self-aware, for example, there are several different classes on leadership that use methods like the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument or the Enneagram. These techniques not only identify traits about ourselves to us, they open the pathway to expanded thought and shift the view of our surroundings. I have used these techniques, as well as my personal experience with mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress to examine organizational change within the United States Army in an attempt to demonstrate that the Army’s premier program to help Soldiers deal with the stressors of multiple deployments to theaters of war is in jeopardy. It is in jeopardy, I believe, due to the leaders’ lack of self-awareness and conscious understanding of the context needed to support such significant shifts in organizational and individual mindsets and behavior. As an analogous example of a major change process, in 2000, the Army embarked on a journey to transform and chose as a symbol the wear of a black beret. In the course of a decade, the Army changed but did not transform and in 2011 discarded that symbol of transformation. The failed attempt to transform is the result of not changing the culture or the belief patterns that produce it and which it in turn cultivates. Soldiers and leaders of today use the same thought processes as those of our predecessors, trapping us, and the organization, in the past. To break this cycle I examine the theory of presencing as a way to break free from processes of the past. Presencing allows leaders to use their self-awareness and trust of their inner feelings in order to develop plans and policies for the future as it is emerging.

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Date Posted: 18 March 2013