Examining the Relationship Between Multi-Partner Leadership Characterized by Shared and Equal Decision-Making Authority (SEDMA) and Organizational Culture
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Leadership characterized by multiple partners with shared and equal decision-making authority (SEDMA) is a unique leadership structure. The dynamics of this structure influence organizational culture differently than other types of leadership. Conversely, organizational culture also influences the decision-making process of this leadership structure differently. The unique nature of a shared and equal partnership and its reciprocal relationship with organizational culture is an under-studied topic. Many of the studies of these constructs approach the relationship between leadership and culture from a prescriptive view. Many researchers view organizational culture as something that can be manipulated by leaders to meet goals. This study argues that leaders are as much influenced by culture as they influence culture and this relationship is more complicated when unique leadership structures are involved. The purpose of this study was to explore the dynamics of SEDMA leadership and how it influences culture and is influenced by culture. This study utilized a focused, realist ethnography grounded in a seminal organizational cultural theory to explore the relationship between SEDMA leadership and organizational culture. For 10 months I collected data from a small professional services firm with three partners who had shared and equal decision-making authority. I utilized semi-structured interviews, observations, and job shadowing to explore the relationship between leadership and culture in this organization.
Whitener, Jennifer Kori (2015). Examining the Relationship Between Multi-Partner Leadership Characterized by Shared and Equal Decision-Making Authority (SEDMA) and Organizational Culture. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from