Back when I was bishop: Autoethnography of Leadership-As-Practice as a bishop within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Authors
Koenig, Scott
Issue Date
2020-04-17
Type
Dissertation
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en_US
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Abstract
The purpose of this dissertation in practice is to provide an in-depth self-examination of my service as a bishop (a lay clergy position) within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Through the use of autoethnography, I provide a narrative into some of the people and events that shaped my service as a leader. Doing this provides a lens to study the impact of leadership within direction, alignment, and commitment (DAC) (Drath et al., 2008) and the impact it can have on leadership-as-practice (L-A-P) (Raelin, 2016). Both DAC and L-A-P rely less on the process of leadership and more on the outcome of leadership, what people can accomplish together, and how leadership unfolds and emerges through shared experiences. The approach acknowledges leadership as a social phenomenon and incorporates relationships as part of the process of leadership emerging. When introducing DAC, Drath et al. (2006) acknowledged traditional methods of leadership focused on the tripod of leadership consisting of leaders, followers, and the common goals they share as an expression of their commitment, but also recognized a gap in leadership research and development. This led to a study of both the process and the outcome of leadership by looking at direction (the overall goals of the group and the mission that guides them), alignment (the coordination of actions of the group with a common goal), and commitment (the willingness of the group members to participate fully in achieving the collective interest of the group). These models are especially effective in studying the leadership of an organization like the LDS church because of the unique way leaders are chosen and leadership is carried out. Leaders are chosen from a congregation of members who are assigned that congregation based on where they live and not necessarily on previous leadership experience and training.
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Creighton University
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Copyright is retained by the Author. A non-exclusive distribution right is granted to Creighton University and to ProQuest following the publishing model selected above.
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