Lauren Lek


This grounded theory study explored the experiences of lay faculty, administration and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) to capture how the spirit of the CSJ continues in the organizational culture of their sponsored secondary schools. Since 1950, CSJ in the Los Angeles Province, have experienced a very similar decline as other orders of religious across the United States. In order to preserve the culture and history of the CSJ in their sponsored secondary schools, the researcher conducted twenty semi-structured interviews to capture the lived experiences of those currently serving, and those who have served, on the four secondary school campuses. Utilizing the literature on preserving organizational culture from Edgar Schien, and Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal, the research seemed to conclude that this charism has been preserved even through transitions to lay leadership. A series of seven distinct themes emerged indicating that a CSJ school: consistently incorporates the gospel values into all aspects of the school community; seeks out opportunities to model service to the dear neighbor in how faculty, staff and students serve one another, and in turn impact the broader community; serves a diverse population of students and intentionally creates a culture of unity and support, and a sense of belonging, to cultivate a community of acceptance, love and sisterhood; fosters an environment of excellence through the intentional actions of teachers and leaders to be capacity builders, assisting all young women to become all of “which woman is capable”; recognizes the essential role that leadership plays in fostering a gospel-driven, nurturing environment, evidenced in the faculty, staff and sisters as models; is marked by a spirit of joy and fun that is tangibly felt among the students, the faculty and staff, and throughout the entire school community, and recognizes the challenges with living out the gospel values and being called to building a spirit of unity and love. The results of the study suggest that the organizational school culture has been able to preserve the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, echoing their foundational spirituality dating back to 1650 Le Puy, France.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational technology and leadership; Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Los Angeles Province -- Case studies; Charisma (Personality trait) -- Case studies; Christian leadership -- Catholic Church -- California -- Los Angeles

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

McManus, John F.;