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Transformational change by a post-conventional leader

Eva Norrman Brandt (Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University , Jönköping, Sweden)
Sofia Kjellström (Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University , Jönköping, Sweden)
Ann-Christine Andersson (Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University , Jönköping, Sweden)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 19 June 2019

Issue publication date: 26 June 2019

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632

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine people’s experience of a change process and if and how post-conventional leadership principles are expressed in the change process.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a retrospective exploratory qualitative design. In total, 19 semi-structured interviews and 4 workshops were conducted and analyzed in accordance with a thematic qualitative analysis.

Findings

The post-conventional leadership appears to have facilitated an organizational transformation where explorative work methods aimed at innovation and improvement as well as holistic understanding was used. Dispersed power and mandate to employees, within set frames and with clear goals, created new ways of organizing and working. The leader showed personal consideration, acknowledged the importance of the emotionally demanding aspects of change and admitted the leader’s own vulnerability. Balance between challenge and support created courage to take on new roles and responsibilities. Most employees thrived and grew with the possibilities given, but some felt lack of support and clear directions.

Practical implications

Inspiration from this case on work methods and involvement of employees can be used on other change efforts.

Social implications

This study provides knowledge on leadership capabilities needed for facilitation of transformational change.

Originality/value

Few transformational change processes by post-conventional leaders are thoroughly described, and this study provides in-depth descriptions of post-conventional leadership in transformational change.

Keywords

Citation

Brandt, E.N., Kjellström, S. and Andersson, A.-C. (2019), "Transformational change by a post-conventional leader", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 457-471. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-07-2018-0273

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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