Becoming a CEO: an exploration of the theory and practice of effective organisational leadership

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O'Keeffe, Niall
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University College Cork
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This Thesis is an exploration of potential enhancement in effectiveness, personally, professionally and organisationally through the use of Theory as an Apparatus of Thought. Enhanced effectiveness was sought by the practitioner (Subject), while in transition to becoming Chief Executive of his organization. The introduction outlines the content and the structure of the University College Cork DBA. Essay One outlines what Theory is, what Adult Mental Development is and an exploration of Theories held in the Authors past professional practice. Immunity to change is also reflected on. Essay Two looks at the construct of the key Theories used in the Thesis. Prof. Robert Kegan’s Theory of Adult Mental Development was used to aid the generation of insight. The other key Theories used were The Theory of The Business, Theory of the Co‐operative and a Theory of Organisational Leadership. Essay Three explores the application of the key Theories in a professional setting. The findings of the Thesis were that the subject was capable of dealing with increased environmental complexity and uncertainty by using Theory as an Apparatus of Thought, which in turn enhanced personal, professional and organisational effectiveness. This was achieved by becoming more aware of the Theories held by the practitioner, the experiences from the application of those Theories, which then led to greater insight. The author also found that a detailed understanding of the Theory of the Business and a Theory of Leadership would support any new CEO in the challenging early part of their tenure.
Chief executive , Organisational leadership , Environmental complexity , Personal effectiveness , Professional effectiveness , Organisational effectiveness , Robert Kegan , Adult Mental Development , Portfolio of exploration
O'Keeffe, N, 2012. Becoming a CEO: an exploration of the theory and practice of effective organisational leadership. DBA Thesis, University College Cork.