Organization Development

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work



John Conbere; Alla Heorhiadi; Jane Canney


Higher education institutions have distinct features within them, and are increasingly faced with external forces that require adaptation and change. The circumstances surrounding the change may impact how change may be experienced as loss, stress or trauma. While the experience of change for an individual may be subjective, common themes may develop within an organization. This study explored the experience with difficult change at a private university in Ukraine, and the change process as described by faculty and staff. The primary source of data was obtained from interviews with fifteen faculty and staff members, including individuals serving in leadership positions. To gain an understanding of the case, it was essential to explore the Ukrainian context, including historical and political factors, as well as aspects of the organization itself. Four main themes emerged from the study that represent the experience with difficult or stressful change: experiences with change were multilayered and multifaceted, external demands led to a crisis of conscience, the change process led to revisiting core values and belief, and faith and spirituality influenced the experience with change. What was discovered in this study was how the change process that involved stress and loss led to introspection and a renewed sense of commitment to the work. The participants displayed a sense of hope and resilience amidst some very challenging circumstances. As the study progressed it appeared I may have been observing individuals and possibly an organization in the process of transformation.


stressful change, change higher education, organizational development higher education, interpretive case study

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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