This narrative study identified and examined the processes by which women grow and make meaning through work by drawing from the narratives of seven women to explore interactions of authenticity, publication, influence, and professional and personal life experiences. All of the women in this study were full professors at large East Coast research universities who held or had held codified leadership positions; each, however, demonstrated a preference for non-positional leadership and influence instead. Non-positional leadership of the sort uniformly exercised by these women—that of conceiving ideas as influence—plays a prototypical role in defining and advancing the intellectual and strategic foundations of organizations and social movements, yet remains fundamentally independent of both the codified positions and socials role of individual idea creators.
The study was predicated on the idea that to better appreciate concepts of leadership and authenticity, it is necessary to move beyond the prevailing research focus on understanding positional leadership by focusing on leadership through influence as ideas, acknowledging gender, and examining how people create meaning through work. The women in the study were members of an elite group that transcended organizational and social barriers to achieve not only doctorates, but the highest teaching rank, full professor. All of the women had served in myriad administrative roles as well as in their primary work roles of researcher and teacher. The women in this study had become adept at juggling the conflicting demands of their inner voices, not only as a coping mechanism, but as an annealing process through which both life satisfaction and external influence were enhanced. The women in the study have chosen, clearly and strongly, to lead by ideas. All of the women have answered the question “What is my work?” The end product of their work—their real work—is influence. For these seven women, authenticity is more than agency and being true to self: it is being in right relationship with others and using their gifts for the betterment of all.
|Adviser||Shelley R. Robbins|
|Subjects||Women's studies; Management; Higher education|
About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.
PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.