Department

Organization Development

Date of Paper/Work

2017

Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

John Conbere; Alla Heorhiadi; Eleni Roulis

Abstract

This case study research examined and described the experiences of individuals who identified as transgender and had initiated an obvious gender change during employment. Participants were those who had been in their workplace as one gender and during the course of employment made a noticeable change to another gender, for example an individual presenting as a man who became an individual who presented and identified as a woman. In addition, the participants selected for this study shared information about their sense of self and decision-making process to purposefully align their bodies to the gender they identified with in their minds. In-depth interviews were conducted and analyzed to find themes in each case. As a result of cross-case analysis, four primary patterns emerged: (a) struggling to find congruence between an internal sense of self in the face of an incongruent external presentation, (b) proceeding carefully with changes to ensure acceptance and personal safety, (c) relief upon finally becoming one’s “real” or “true” self and being able to live that way full time, and (d) the impact of the personnel responses to a worker’s transgender status in the workplace. Through these patterns, I was able to identify deeper themes and describe how organizations can respond to and create environments conducive to positive workplace experiences for people who transition gender during employment and how important it is for all employees to feel safe in bringing their authentic selves to work. The present study contributes to research of transgender individuals in the context of work.

Keywords

transgender, transgender in the workplace, gender transition and work, transgender workplace inclusion, authenticity at work

Creative Commons License

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

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