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Finding The Future - An Exploration of The Phenomenon of Leaders’ Learning through the Novel circumstances of COVID

Brown, Jacqueline (2022) Finding The Future - An Exploration of The Phenomenon of Leaders’ Learning through the Novel circumstances of COVID. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Purpose: An exploration of organizational leaders’ learning experiences whilst dealing with novel circumstances through the COVID pandemic which offered insights into the often difficult to locate reflection-in-action of leaders and learning contained within their practice.

Design, Methodology: A qualitative approach that used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) utilising semi-structured interviews for data collection. Participants were selected using purposive sampling and in total three were recruited three participants, all self identified as senior leaders.

Findings: They experienced learning as a boundary crossing instrument to attend to group needs, a critical function of leadership Each participant experienced learning as “profoundly re-creating their personal lives and social systems” (Kolb, 2015, p.858), framing it as experiential in nature and transformational in impact. COVID as a context created space unlearn and relearn their base beliefs abut leadership and learning highlighting the importance of reflexivity in reflective towards the depth of learning.

Four superordinate themes emerged: 1) learning is the work for leaders, 2) learning is unlearning, 3) leaning is social with the zone of development stretching and 4) Reflection as a skill in learning creates value and reflexivity affects impact

Contributions: Concerning reflection and reflexivity: as skills they can illuminate and stretch the zone of development for leaders as-well as to the importance of having reflective spaces that support ongoing expertise development. This research also revealed possible limitations on workplace learning to develop the type of critical reflection that will be needed to support future leadership development to mediate including the negative emotions and impacted fractured reflexivity can have to learning for leaders.

Implications: This research supports the relevance of micros-stories in leadership theory and supports ongoing discourse in critically evaluating leadership practice; aswell as identifying an expansive space between learning and leading. The implications for which extend to experiential learning, reflective practice and general workplace development.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phenomenology; Leadership; Reflexivity; COVID; Boundary Crossing; Unlearning; Workplace Learning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > Leadership
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Leadership
Divisions: Centre for Education and Lifelong Learning > Master of Arts in Educational Practice
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2022 10:32
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2022 10:32

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