Organization Development

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work



John Conbere; Alla Heorhiadi; Nancy Weidenfeller


In this interpretive collective case study, I studied how leaders responded and what they learned during the 2008 and 2009 global recession. Companies in the United States are experiencing turbulent economic times and complicated global challenges. As a result of these new challenges, American companies and their leaders are facing increased levels of ambiguity. The requirements of leadership are changing as the challenges and issues facing leaders today are becoming more complex and less restricted by the national boundaries. Four senior executive leaders, representing a variety of industries, participated in the study. Each of the four cases is told in a narrative format that described the individual experience of each case. Interviews with participants are the primary data source, triangulated with interviews from those who were best positioned to witness the leaders’ behavior during the global recession. Data analysis across all four of the cases provided insight into the four major themes that emerged: the essentials of dealing with looming uncertainty, the essentials of focusing on what is important, the importance of a connection to the organization, and the benefits of the feeling that everyone is in this together. This research is significant because it deeply examined the leadership practices and associated learning during the global recession. This study is significant for the fields of organization development and leadership in that there are implications for future application of the findings.


leadership, passion, crisis leadership, global leadership, recession, organization commitment

Creative Commons License

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