Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Second Advisor

Duane M. Covrig

Third Advisor

Slimen J. Saliba

Abstract

Purpose. The prevailing literature suggests that organizations can sustain their vitality and longevity by preserving their core ideology. The purpose of this study is to define and articulate the core convictions of Seventh-day Adventist healthcare and then investigate how the leaders' and employees' cognitive understandings, behaviors, and affective attachments align at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida.

Method. This two-phased sequential exploratory study utilizes qualitative research to define the core convictions of Seventh-day Adventist healthcare through historical literature review, analysis of official Church publications, four commissioned scholarly papers, and one-on-one interviews with seasoned healthcare administrators. These findings are then used to develop a questionnaire administered at Florida Hospital to determine the perceptual gaps and alignments with the core convictions of Seventh-day Adventist healthcare.

Results. The core convictions of Seventh-day Adventist healthcare are: Wholeness, Healing Ministry of Christ,Health Principles, Honoring the Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Image of God, and Community Service. In testing these care convictions, full alignment was determined between the senior leaders and middle management in cognitive understanding, behavioral application, and affective connection. Statistically significant differences exist between senior leaders and middle management compared to employees in four of the six core convictions. The Health Principles and the behavioral dimension are fully aligned across the segmented groups. Full alignment is also determined for the Christian-based religions across all six core convictions.

Conclusions. The institutionalization of the core convictions of Seventh-day Adventist healthcare must be further incorporated into the sensemaking paradigm of Florida Hospital in order to protect the ongoing confessional identity.

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