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Understanding the Impact of Differing Leadership Schemas in Inter-Organizational Groups

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Title: Understanding the Impact of Differing Leadership Schemas in Inter-Organizational Groups
Author: Magee, Colin
Department: Department of Management
Program: Management
Advisor: van Duren, Erna
Abstract: Using a qualitative, phenomenological approach, this idiographic study examined the impact of individual leadership schemas on inter-organisational groups brought together to deal with complex problems. Framed by its focus on inter-organisational leadership delivering an integrated security solution to complex problems, the research examined the interaction of the Canadian Forces, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency operating in Afghanistan during the period 2005 to 2011. The study shows that differing leadership schemas impact on how leadership is enacted within an ad hoc inter-organisational group. Responding to Lord’s (2003) question asking if leader schemas are dynamic, the study shows that participants from different organisations not only have different leadership schemas, but that through interaction a new schema was developed to deal with the new context faced by the group. The study also helps to understand how collaborative leadership is enacted, reinforcing the importance of the leader, but refining the role to an enabler and initiator of the socially constructed leadership functions. Academically, the research contributes to the ongoing debate within the literature on whether leadership schemas are static or context based, while providing insights into the interaction of differing schemas and the social context in which leadership occurs. The practitioner will gain a greater understanding of inter-organizational leadership within the public sector needed to deal with complex problems. Whilst focused on a specific inter-organizational group, the results are expected to be applicable across a range of ad hoc collaborative groups, working to solve complex problems.
Date: 2014-12
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