The alignment between leadership, organizational culture, and functional maturity: An ethnographic case study for small business transformational change

by Becker, Gerard F., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 192 pages; 3274975


This dissertation examined the alignment between leadership, organizational culture, as well as functional maturity required for transformational change in a small business environment. A small business environment for this qualitative and ethnographic case study was a for profit, privately held company with approximately one hundred employees. The identified case study organization was selected by requesting participation through a globally recognized consortium of chief executive officers. Interested organizations were evaluated for participation based on the criteria of being privately held, approximately one hundred employees, undergoing substantive change and growth, and ease of researcher access. Data pertaining to leadership, organizational culture, as well as functional maturity was collected through a series of interviews with key functional leaders and participants in the identified case study organization. Historical artifacts were captured during the interview process and included in the data analysis. Leadership qualities were evaluated in the context of culturally endorsed leadership theory; organizational culture in the context of ProjectGLOBE cultural dimensions; and functional maturity in the context of a capability maturity model. A qualitative, ethnographic case study approach was used to explore, extract and describe rich, narrative explanations of the exigent leadership attributes, organizational culture dimensions as well as the functional organizational maturity. Synthesis of the gathered information provided a descriptive and exploratory set of findings and conclusions about the case study organization's ability to adapt to existing change drivers required for positive transformational change and growth. The emergent patterns and themes indicated that the case study organization experienced transformational change over the prior ten years. The transformational change was enabled through mature functions in the organization. The mature functions exhibited a social cooperation, continuous improvement, customer focus and re-investment. Obstacles emerged that inhibited sustained transformation based on inconsistent communication, and a lack of empowerment and accountability.

AdviserToni Greif
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsCultural anthropology; Management
Publication Number3274975

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