The purpose of the study was to explore the application of the strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results (SOAR) framework derived from the appreciative inquiry literature and through the lived experiences of California-based association management and non-profit executives leading professional societies, trade associations, or foundations. In addition, this research, using phenomenological interviewing techniques, aimed to determine whether or not association management executives working in California-based professional societies and trade associations changed their individual thought processes or behaviors as a result of attending a professional development program that demonstrated the SOAR framework. The research questions that guided this research were: (a) what changed mindsets were experienced as a result of an understanding with the SOAR framework in the strategic thinking process? and (b) what changed mindsets and organizational application were experienced as a result of an understanding with the SOAR framework in the strategic thinking process? This qualitative study, using semi-structured interview questions, sought to explore and document the experiences of California-based senior association management executives with SOAR framework. This research aimed to add to the body of knowledge of SOAR as a result of expanded individual and organizational application of this approach as compared to other strategic thinking experiences. The study documents comparisons, by the non-profit executives involved in this study, between the more commonly known strategic thinking of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and the positivity-focused SOAR framework.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational change; Executives -- Training of; Career development; Strategic planning; Organizational leadership
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Swafford, Steven Wayne, "Applied experiences of the SOAR framework by association management and foundation executives" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 354.