Organization Development



Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work



John Conbere

Second Advisor

Alla Heorhiadi

Third Advisor

Jane Canney


What gets a person out of bed in the morning? Do people look forward to going to work, interacting with others, or spending time on activities and interests they enjoy? What happens when a person retires and the structure of their day completely changes? These questions guided my interpretive multi-case study, which was seeking to understand the experience of people, in or near retirement, who had taken a "purpose in life" identifying workshop. Interviews were conducted with sixteen participants who experienced the one day Purpose Project Workshop administered by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing. Study participants attended the workshop between the ages of fifty-five and sixty-eight, an age range when most people enter into, or start thinking about, retiring from their career. Participants were individually interviewed and asked what they had learned about themselves and life as it pertained to living with meaning and purpose in retirement. Each of the sixteen cases revealed interesting insight to the personal journey of retirement planning, and how living a life with purpose changed or was maintained. Analysis across cases revealed five major themes including the process of self-reflection to identify purpose, how purpose factors into different kinds of life transitions, the impact living a life of meaning had on relationships and how organizational involvement interacted with a purpose filled life. With a great deal of literature and research surrounding the value of living a life of meaning and purpose, this study examined the experience of the individual on a very personal level.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.