Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)
School of Education
Lisa Mary McCartney
Feminist Theory, Leadership Styles, Mercyhurst College, Organizational Culture, Sisters of Mercy
The religious heritage and ideals of many American Catholic colleges and universities are associated with the orders of women religious that established women's colleges in the 19th century and served them through the 20th century. The social histories of their individual colleges are just beginning to be written. This study provides historical information on the first seven Sister of Mercy presidents of Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. It searches out the role each of these presidents played not just in maintaining the culture of the institution but also in making significant adaptations to it. The study focuses on female centered leadership and investigates alternative forms of organization of an institution by giving attention to current literature related to transformational and transactional leadership styles. A determination of the extent to which each woman leader is a "transformational" leader is an ultimate objective of the study. This researcher uses the case study method and historical approach, which require the analysis and interpretation of archival documents, including biographies and personal communication, and of information accessed through interviews gathered from people who knew the female presidents of the college. In looking closely at the female leadership of Mercyhurst College, this researcher seeks to offer insights into organizational culture, feminist theory, and the leadership styles of the college's women religious presidents. Ultimately, this researcher aims at constructing a study that models feminist theory in its respect for written documents and a spirit of dialogue.
Lynch, M. (2007). The Impact of Organizational Culture, Feminist Theory and Leadership of the First Seven Presidents on the Historical Development of Mercyhurst College (1926-1972) (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/845