Growing adaptive leadership mindset:
Longo, Debra Mitchell
MetadataShow full item record
As the world evolves, the issues humanity must face grow increasingly complex. Organizations need leaders able to navigate the daunting challenges that appear in this constantly changing environment. Through collaborative developmental action inquiry (Torbert & Associates, 2004) this action research case study took place at Southern University, a large private research institution in the United States. Situated in the literature at the intersection of adaptive leadership theory (Heifetz, 1994; Heifetz & Laurie, 1997; Heifetz & Linsky, 2002, 2009), double loop learning theory (Argyris, 1977, 1991) and constructive developmental theory (Kegan, 1982, 1994), the purpose of this study was to understand how to create the learning conditions for midlevel managers to develop the skillset and mindset necessary to transition from operational management to adaptive leadership. The questions that guided this study were 1) How does a developmentally informed program impact midlevel leaders’ mindset for adaptive leadership? 2) What are the conditions under which program participants and the action research (AR) team are able to engage adaptive leadership development? 3) What happens when collaborative developmental action inquiry (CDAI) is used as a methodology for designing and implementing a leadership program? This study showed that a collaborative approach to leadership development program design leads to the growth of adaptive leaders. Implications include a model for a collaborative developmental approach to growing adaptive leadership mindset.