Organization Development

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work



William Brendel; David Jamieson; Karen Lange


Despite slow and steady progress of women gaining advanced positions of leadership, men persist in controlling the field of leadership opportunities in higher education. Given this disparity there was a need to raise questions about the perseverance of gender inequity within the highest ranks of academic leadership. More needed to be known about how transformative women leaders have identified, exposed, challenged, or outright defied male centric assumptions; leading to a better understanding of how high-achieving women leaders have assumed positions of elevated leadership in higher education. This interpretive case study explored how women made meaning out of their experiences and how informal learning experiences and habits of mind contributed to their success as transformative leaders. This case study captured the collective narratives of four top-ranking women leaders across three private, faith-based institutions of higher education. Their participation in this study provided a clearer understanding of the leadership experiences of transformative women leaders that will help identify gaps in the literature and demonstrate how each woman has persevered as a leader in higher education despite challenges portrayed in the literature.


transformative women leaders, resilience, self-authorizing, habit of mind, transformative learning, informal learning

Creative Commons License

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

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