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Lead to transform a successful organizational change

Zheni Wang (Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA)

Publication date: 23 June 2021


Study Level/Applicability

This case aims to assist students to learn about leadership theory and leadership effectiveness in terms of organizational change. It is best suited for undergraduate courses in leadership development, organizational behavior and specific teaching modules in Master in Business Administration courses.

Subject area

Leadership and leadership effectiveness; organizational change.

Case overview

This case is about a decade (2010–2020) of a transformation journey of the School of Business at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). Dr Durnin has been the first female Dean of School of Business in Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) who made this transformation possible and continuing on. With listening ears and a supportive heart, Dr Durnin first moved faculty and staff members out of a “sick” office building and then created a supportive and collaborative culture to build the consensus among faculty and staff members to change for good. It has been her personalized influence, charisma and extraordinary upward negotiation that lead the School to shape its collective effort toward a multi-year Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business accreditation process since 2014. When dealing the uncertainty caused by the 2020 global pandemic, her autonomy-supportive approach once again connected people meaningfully together to excel the challenges brought by COVID-19 pandemic.

Expected learning outcomes

This case provides an example of female leader in higher education to illustrate a successful transformational leadership (TFL) example in the USA, as well as its implications on gender issues and leadership effectiveness. Upon completing the analysis of this case, students should be able to: – understand the TFL concepts, theory and its behavioral implications on gender and leadership effectiveness; and – assess and evaluate effectiveness of TFL styles in organizations.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or e-mail to request teaching notes.

Subject code

CSS 6: Human resources.


Transformational leadership, Organizational change, Gender and leadership effectiveness



Wang, Z. (2021), "Lead to transform a successful organizational change", .



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Zheni Wang.

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