Organizations are experiencing accelerated rates of change while at the same time organizational change initiatives are experiencing high rates of failure. If organizations are to be successful now and in the future, they must develop the capacity to become change-adept while maintaining business performance. This retrospective case study explores how an emergent change process influenced an organization's movement toward a change-adept culture while continuing to perform its normal operations. Using a mixed method approach, the researcher analyzed artifact qualitative data by applying Kanter's 3 dimensions of a change-adept culture--professionalism to perform, imagination to innovate, and openness to collaborate. The researcher utilized artifact quantitative employee survey and culture assessment data, collected at the beginning of the pilot and one year later, to support and enrich the qualitative findings. The researcher analyzed organizational artifact metric data, collected over a 2 year period--from the beginning of the pilot and continuing for 6 months after the end of the pilot, to determine the impact on operational and financial performance. Artifact interview data showed that over the 18 month pilot, managers increasingly applied and integrated Kanter's 3 dimensions, thereby demonstrating continuous progress toward becoming a more change-adept culture. The managers' culture assessments and subsequent culture meetings showed year over year movement toward the preferred culture. Analysis of employee listening session data using Kanter's 3 dimensions detected some positive change year over year. The employee survey data indicated improvement of employees' perceptions of the work environment year over year. Analysis of the metric data trends over two years and same quarter year over year comparisons showed overall improvement in operations and financial metrics. Counter to other change studies, the organization in this study experienced enhanced business performance throughout the pilot change initiative and continued to experience enhanced performance 6 months after the end of the pilot. The researcher's analysis indicates that as participants experienced/participated in an emergent change process, they began to integrate Kanter's 3 dimensions, moving the organization toward a change-adept culture while improving operational and financial performance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Organizational change; Organizational behavior; Dissertations (EdD) -- Organization change

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Canady, Robert