Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; William P. Foster, EdD; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD


acquisition, case study, Leadership studies, multidimensional, organizational change, Pacific Southwest Airlines, qualitative, USAir


Five dominant theories of organizational change have emerged from the literature. Each of these models expressly expand on a singular and specific paradigm of how change can be viewed within organizations. The models of change are the micro-personal-therapeutic, meso-rational-managerial, meso-systems-organic, macro-cultural-symbolic and macro-political-economic. While the contemporary literature on organizational change has done much to further our understanding about the future of organizational change, very few works provide us with case study examples of organizational change in action. Missing is an understanding of what facilitators of change actually do in the process of change. The present study sought to provide a descriptive analysis of how one organizational change took shape in one major American corporation. Throughout an in-depth description of the acquisition of Pacific Southwest Airlines by USAir, five deliberate and planned actions resulted which were part of a strategic change plan designed to facilitate a smooth transition from one organization (PSA) to another (USAir) These actions were the internal mechanisms used for articulating the change, the external mechanisms used for articulating the change, the programmatic processes used during the change, the impacting leader actions and the grass roots movement. The actions were thoroughly described and analyzed in relation to the dominant change models. Trends from these actions revealed that specific paradigms emerged. The author concludes that a more multi-dimensional, rather than a singular, paradigm of change permeated the acquisition period. Although all models were represented, the political-economic and the systems-organic models dominated.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access