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Emergent strategy in a global community of religious sisters and Leading organizational change through practical spirituality A case study in two parts

Emergent strategy in a global community of religious sisters and Leading organizational change... Purpose – This paper aims to report the process and results of strategic level renewal of an organization from two perspectives: a senior leader from within and an independent process consultant engaged to facilitate the organization's process. The organization is an active, not monastic, international congregation of Roman Catholic religious sisters. Design/methodology/approach – The congregation has carried out a review of direction approximately every six years of its 164 year history. The 2010 review took a whole systems approach to increase active involvement of every single member and to address external and internal organizational challenges including diminishing resources in two provinces and growing and complex needs. Findings – The paper concludes that the process met most of the needs of the organization in addressing global issues of change and gained commitment from its members to make major changes in its strategic and operational decision making. One part of the paper describes and reflects in depth on the experience and meaning of the series of events and interventions in the organization's systems. Practical implications – It is suggested that leaders can learn much from case studies arising from well outside their normal fields. This is because creativity and innovation is stimulated when encountering difference and leaders' and organizations' values can be strengthened through questioning and refinement. Originality/value – This is an original analysis combining practical spirituality in an historical context, and complexity theory and development practice as applied to an organization to meet precise needs at a specific time. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services Emerald Publishing

Emergent strategy in a global community of religious sisters and Leading organizational change through practical spirituality A case study in two parts

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1747-9886
DOI
10.1108/17479881111160140
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to report the process and results of strategic level renewal of an organization from two perspectives: a senior leader from within and an independent process consultant engaged to facilitate the organization's process. The organization is an active, not monastic, international congregation of Roman Catholic religious sisters. Design/methodology/approach – The congregation has carried out a review of direction approximately every six years of its 164 year history. The 2010 review took a whole systems approach to increase active involvement of every single member and to address external and internal organizational challenges including diminishing resources in two provinces and growing and complex needs. Findings – The paper concludes that the process met most of the needs of the organization in addressing global issues of change and gained commitment from its members to make major changes in its strategic and operational decision making. One part of the paper describes and reflects in depth on the experience and meaning of the series of events and interventions in the organization's systems. Practical implications – It is suggested that leaders can learn much from case studies arising from well outside their normal fields. This is because creativity and innovation is stimulated when encountering difference and leaders' and organizations' values can be strengthened through questioning and refinement. Originality/value – This is an original analysis combining practical spirituality in an historical context, and complexity theory and development practice as applied to an organization to meet precise needs at a specific time.

Journal

The International Journal of Leadership in Public ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: May 18, 2011

Keywords: Emergent strategy; Leadership; Strategic direction; Organizational change; Nuns; Religious sisters; Spirituality; Whole systems; Organizational development

References