Stakeholder leadership: organizational change and power

Randal Ford (Department of Communication, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 1 December 2005



To research how the chief executive officers (CEO) and vice presidents (VPs) and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) developed into a highly collaborative enterprise in managing change on a daily basis.


A combination of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, was used in gathering data. Archival records – meeting minutes, memos, internal and external diagnostic surveys, local and regional newspapers – enabled collecting data over an extended period, in addition to direct observation (April 2003‐May 2004) and interviews: retrospective and concurrent. Content analysis – a qualitative method employed through grounded theory (analytic induction) – generated the themes from the archival and interview data.


Quantitative data suggest for the years May 2000‐December 2003 a change in behavior toward more participation occurred at SRHS, on an organizational level and in the relations between the CEO and VPs; also during this period the hospital's patient satisfaction scores improved significantly from 50 to low‐to‐mid 90 percent. The collaborative work practices the CEO and VPs had assumed was not the norm for the VPs working at SRHS back in March 2000, under the former CEO's administration. Research shows by May 2004 the current CEO and VPs' social interaction had evolved into practices of reciprocal power relations and knowledge sharing that was more decentralized, lateral, team‐based, and participative than a strict bureaucracy would tolerate.


Findings from this study illustrates three principles leaders can use in establishing stakeholder power relations to guide practices that aid organizations in managing change on a day‐to‐day basis.



Ford, R. (2005), "Stakeholder leadership: organizational change and power", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 26 No. 8, pp. 616-638.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.