Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2022

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


As a result of the ongoing wave of civil unrest in the United States, many university organizations have re-evaluated their current structures and policies to increase emphasis on social justice principles. In particular, the leaders of the University of San Diego Panhellenic Council have verbally expressed an interest in creating a more socially just Panhellenic experience. However, feedback from community members via anonymous reports and social media posts, coupled with observations of the Council reveal leadership has yet to take tangible and sustained action. This project investigated the value congruence of USD Panhellenic leadership to better understand the process between expressing a value and acting on it to create change in the community. Specifically, I explored the question: How does value congruence among Panhellenic leaders strengthen organizational accountability in the process of adjusting to community needs? I administered a survey to collect self-report data on value congruence then conducted focus groups to facilitate discussion about value clarification and congruence. My results indicated that Panhellenic leaders strongly value feeling passionate and view commitment toward their organization as a key factor in adjusting to the needs of the community. However, their passion and commitment varied depending on each leader’s relationship to other leaders, traditions held, and behaviors modeled in the organization. Suggested future research could examine national and university advisor involvement in maintaining traditional programs and encouraging innovative social change that aligns with organizational and community values.