26th Annual Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, Community, and Extension Education
Ball State University – Alumni Center, Muncie, IN
September 25-27, 2007
Date of Presentation
Organization development issues among small-scale local professional organizations have rarely been addressed in the adult education human resource development (HRD) literature. In this paper, I provide a first-hand account of an organization development effort in an all-volunteer chapter of an HRD professional organization. This effort grew into an attempt to foster a professional community of practitioners, while examining the power dynamics within the group, specifically the power exercised by myself, as a leader of the group. Due to space constraints, I primarily focus on the self-study aspects of the process of forming the committee and working through issues of leadership and power. In September 2005, I was asked to become the director of a local area branch (LAB) of this chapter. The chapter covers a large geographic area and consists of four regions with separate (but affiliated) groups and activities. Each LAB has a director. This particular LAB had become inactive in the prior year, due to some leadership transitions and lack of member interest. After agreeing to take on the role, I planned to organize a few small activities, so that the local group would not fade away entirely. I was not interested in putting much work into this effort, due to other commitments. As I will explain later, my interest evolved and I became interested in seeing the group grow into an active professional development community for HRD practitioners. Action research was utilized as we sought these goals.
Githens, Rod P., "Leadership and power in fostering a collaborative community in a non-profit professional organization" (2007). Benerd School of Education Faculty Presentations. 277.