Department

Organization Development

Date of Paper/Work

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

John Conbere, Alla Heorhiadi, Eleni Roulis

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experience of newly appointed city managers through their first 300 days on the new job. Through Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), five male participants shared their experiences of joining a new city as a newly appointed city manager. Data was collected through one-on-one interviews which provided rich descriptions of the participant’s perceptions during their first 3oo days. Analysis of the interviews resulted in the development of three Super-Ordinate themes that are part of the experience of the city managers as they worked through their first 300 days. The first theme, Joining the Organization, identifies the transformation city managers experience from their decision to leave their old organization and breaking bonds to experiencing disorientation associated with the expectations, strangeness, and tests of their new job. The second theme, Transitioning to the New Normal, describes how the new managers establish trust, set the tone of their administration, and deal with doubts while letting go of their old job. The third theme, Experiencing Effectiveness, brings the experience to the point where the new managers have established their effectiveness through the acquisition of institutional knowledge, contributing to the organization culture, and building their relationship with the city council. Future research is suggested for both positivistic and interpretive studies.

Keywords

City Manager, leadership, transition, onboarding, City Council, becoming effective

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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