Doctor of Philosophy in Symbergetic Change Management Theory

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in

Symbergetic™ Change Management Theory

The Ph.D. in Symbergetic Change Management Theory consists of in depth theory-based coursework which includes the exploration of theories of change and organizational systems; principles of healing and coaching; models of conflict; organizational structures and socio-cultural systems; the purpose of vision and values in organizational contexts; styles and interests in personal and professional life; and research methods.

Once a student has completed the Certificate and Master of Arts in Symbergetic Change Management Theory courses, they can begin the Ph.D. degree program which includes the following nine (9) courses:

  • Models of Conflict
  • Organizational Structures and Sociocultural Systems
  • Principles of Coaching
  • Principles of Healing
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Styles and Interests in Personal & Professional Life
  • Systems Thinking
  • Theories of Change
  • Vision and Values
  • Three (3) Terms of Supervised Writing (Dissertation)

Total Time to Completion (estimate): 4 years beyond the Masters

– Online (nine 11-week terms, one class at a time)

– Supervised Writing (three 6-week terms plus writing time)

Total Credits: 60

Maximum Estimated Cost for the Ph.D. – 9 online courses and 3 terms of supervision at $400 per credit, + $1,200 in software access fees for a total of $25,200. (60 CREDITS)

Capstone Project Description:

Non-credit elective research and writing courses are available to assist students with the dissertation process.

Dissertation Requirements: The dissertation requires original research at advanced levels in the field of organizational transformation, a high level of scholarship and systematic academic inquiry. The outcome is a qualitative literature-based research degree that demonstrates an integration of theory. The student will select a concept related to Adizes theories on managing change (such as ‘mutual trust’, a lifecycle pathology, or a leadership style for example). The student will explore cross disciplinary theories relevant to an approved subject in this context.

The objective of the study will be to enhance the operation of the methodology and show how an enhancement might impact the rest of the Adizes ‘management map’ and/or Adizes operational theories, as well as how the enhancement may apply (or not) across multiple disciplines in the social sciences.

The dissertation

  • Requires the capability to integrate multiple disciplines on a particular subject having to do with change processes or managing change processes in the organizational or societal context.
  • Demonstrates (via evidence in the literature review) an understanding of organizational management in both practice and in theory.
  • Identifies commonalities on the topic of change, to be substantiated through the literature review.
  • The final product is not intended to be actionable or tested in any way.

The student’s Concept Proposal will meet all requirements for, and be approved by following all requirements of a Ph.D. program at the Adizes Graduate School (more details are provided in the School Catalog). The Concept Proposal evaluation will answer questions like:

  • What is the subject of the dissertation?
  • Does it relate to change, to what causes change, or how to manage change?
  • Which disciplines will the candidate research to find the common denominators for the topic?
  • Which books did he or she already read?
  • What is the common denominator, in theory, that the candidate expects the dissertation to focus on?
  • Is there potential logic? Is it clearly conceptualized?
  • Are the concepts presented well defined?
  • Will the concept move forward the existing body of knowledge in the field?
  • Has anyone else already made the same claim?
  • How shall the candidate support the potential applicability of the enhancement within the structure of the Adizes management map and/or within Adizes theories for managing change?

Course Descriptions
NOTE:  Overseas students may be asked to utilize a professional English editor for their written work.

Models of Conflict

In this course we will examine the underlying assumptions and sources of conflict from both theoretical and practical perspectives. We will explore human and organizational development, social psychology, and group process literature to generate an understanding of contemporary views of conflict. Through this exploration, students will establish more integrated, theoretically based practices of effectively coping with conflict. Students will also gain insight into how conflict can be used as a constructive force in organizational life.

Organizational Structures and Sociocultural Systems

This course examines organizational structure through the study of the underlying social and cultural dynamics of organizational systems. These systems are examined from three interrelated dimensions: the individual, organization and society. Culture is examined primarily in terms of the deep structures and assumptions underlying thought and action that tend to lie below the threshold of our individual and collective awareness and, as such, tend to be transparent and highly resistant to change. These cultural patterns, together with the organizational structures that support them, are examined in light of the unprecedented challenges and opportunities posed by our transition to a knowledge-based society. Organizational structures and sociocultural systems that actively support the development of knowledge work competencies are also explored.

Principles of Coaching

This course addresses the principles behind professional practice in terms of facilitating synergistic change. The health of an organizational system and client are explored in terms of Western, Eastern, and other traditional, alternative, complementary, and non-allopathic healing or therapeutic methods. Throughout this course, we will explore the foundations of practitioner responsibility from individual and family practice as might be applied to organizational practice. We will also address ethical principles of “professionalism,” such as helping clients heal themselves, not developing dependencies, and ensuring clients are as interested in the healing process as the consultant or therapist. Confidentiality as well as responsibility with regard to other practitioners and competitors are likewise addressed throughout this course.

Principles of Healing

In addition to an overview of Western therapeutic interventions, including the basic tenets of psychoanalytic theory, humanist theories and theories based in social psychology, this course presents comparative principles of healing drawn from non-allopathic therapeutic systems, shamanism, Buddhism, Zen, and Taoism. Students are expected to prepare an in-depth paper reviewing one major theory and applying the principles of that theory to their own organizational or client environment.

Qualitative Social Research Methods

This seminar outlines the fundamental strategies of dissertation-level research and outlines the competencies necessary for such work. It offers an overview of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research in the social sciences, including experimental and quasi-experimental methods, observational methods, grounded theory, ethnographic methods, and case studies. This course also examines the role of theory and models in the research enterprise. Students are guided in the development of a concept paper for the dissertation and the selection of an appropriate methodology. Students are introduced to library databases for research.

Styles and Interests in Personal and Organizational Life

This seminar addresses various theories about the nature of styles and manifest interests in interpersonal, group and organizational life. The focus is on the appropriateness of particular personal, managerial, and leadership patterns in various settings. The goal is to build and apply models that enlarge the student’s understanding of how to work with various styles and interests in a number of functions and processes. Students examine whether personal, managerial and leadership patterns are specific activities clustered together into sets, or whether they are personal styles and manifest interests as traditionally represented in any number of complex technologies. Concepts of style, manifest interest, script, archetype, and individual differences are discussed along with problems of measurement and theory construction.

Systems Thinking

Systems thinking began, and remains, a multi-disciplinary field. It is first grounded in Cartesian thought in the West. Eastern thought, found in Buddhism, Hinduism, and other spiritual practices, inform us as well. Systems thinking is the process of examining organizations as complex living systems. It is a conceptual framework that identifies and defines shared realities which groups and organizations can use to understand and solve problems. As a foundation, and a practice, it has the potential to transform the ways in which we perceive, think, and make meaning.

Theories of Change and Development

This seminar focuses on theories of intra-personal, interpersonal, and organizational change, emphasizing systematic models of change processes in human systems and knowledge-intensive environments. Students will examine processes of change at the individual, group, and organizational levels. Questions we will explore in this course include:

  • What are the major forces driving change in organizations today?
  • How and why do organizations tend to resist change?
  • How can an individual contributor affect change within an organization?
  • What competencies do leaders need to effectively lead change in contemporary organizations and how do these competencies differ from earlier times?
  • How have network technologies affected organizational structure and function?

Visions and Values

In the exploration of the sometimes unconscious desire to find ultimate meaning in life, this seminar will examine how vision and values serve as central, motivating forces in serving change efforts or in surviving pain, trauma, and loss. Viktor Frankl’s notion of the “will to meaning” will be placed within the positive possibilities of transformational and libratory movements, as well as the negative and nefarious possibilities of obsessive hatred, violent nationalism, and compulsive behavior on the part of individuals and institutions. Participants will also be introduced to the many current theories of resistance, resilience, and change, with an emphasis on how these theories interact with our values as individuals.