Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics, College of Liberal and Professional Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Linda Pennington


The purpose of this capstone is to study how executive coaches use stories to help their clients author a more empowering personal myth, in support of the client’s long- term vision that accounts for diverse personal and professional stakeholders. Through a multidisciplinary review of literature, the study enunciates how people create personal myths to make sense of their lives and why those invisible myths need to be continuously updated to account for life changes. The review of organizational research emphasizes the importance of choosing an archetype that supports a desired social identity at work. Following interviews with experienced coach practitioners, the study outlines a process by which coaches can ask for stories that not only help clients change but also lay the foundation of the deeper work clients need to do to articulate and realize their future vision. At the core of the long-term personal transformation is the need to evoke a way of being that allows clients to “be their best self.”


executive coaching, long-term personal transformation



Date Posted: 31 July 2020