Completed Dissertations

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Completed Dissertations

Paul Leslie (October 2015)
Dissertation Title: Narratives of Learning: The Portfolio Approach

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Ivan Alexander Pupulidy (Sept. 2015)
Dissertation Title: The Transformation of Accident Investigation From Finding Cause to Sensemaking

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Jerry Nagel (May 2015)
Dissertation Title: Art of Hosting Worldview
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Jacqueline Walters (May 2015)
Dissertation Title: Encouraging Learning in Rural Mexico from a Relational Approach

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Ellen Crump (May 2015)

Dissertation Title: Girls “Falling Off” Therapeutic Practices that Matter
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Carsten Hornstrup (May 2015)

Dissertation Title: Strategic Relational Leadership - Building Organizational Capacity to Change
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Alan Gardiner (May 2015)

Dissertation Title: Creating Opportunities for Inclusive Education: A Story of Collaboration Involving the Kenanow Bachelor of Education Program and Their Partners in Northern Manitoba
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Allen Moore (November 2014)

Dissertation Title: Practices of Relational Leadership in Action Learning Teams
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Nelvia Victoria Lugo Agudelo (November 2014)
Dissertation Title: Disarmed Warriors: Narratives with Youth Ex-Combatants in Colombia
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Kathy Isaacson (November 2014)

Dissertation Title: Human Difference and Creation of Better Social Worlds: An Autoethnography
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Dora Adolfina Ayora Talavera (November 2014)

Dissertation Title: Tell-tale stories About a Dissertation: Teaching and Research as Human Activities
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Rob Anderson (November 2014)

Dissertation Title: Authenticity and Architecture: Representation and Reconstruction in Context
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Stephanie Ann McCune (September 2014)

Dissertation Title: Privileging Voices of Parents Influenced by their Adolescent’s Relationship with Substances: Interpretive Description of Generative Dialogue in a Collaborative Group Process
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Jan Inglis (September 2014)

Dissertation Title: A Commons Paradigm: Co-Constructing a New Set of Relations amongst Ourselves and with the Earth
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C. McKenna Lang (September 2014)

Dissertation Title: International Ombudsing: Navigating Discursive Channels
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Colin James Sanders (November 2014)
Dissertation Title: Narrative Poetics of Resistance: Towards An Aesthetics of Engagement
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Erin Kreeger (September 2014)

Dissertation Title: It’s all about well-being, eh? Mindfulness of what we’re making in our PhD Ecology
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Sivalingum Subramanien (November 2013)

Dissertation Title: Enhancing the Wellbeing of Older People in Mauritius
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Patricia Da Silva (November 2013)

Dissertation Title: “The Other”: A Look Into Concurrent Relationships From Women’s Perspectives In Luanda Angola
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Kate Lindley Scheidegger (November 2013)
Dissertation Title: The Social Construction of A Mother’s Identity Amidst the Confluence of Motherhood Discourses
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Lorri Yasenik (November 2013)

Dissertation Title: Including the Voices of Children of Separation and Divorce in the Legal System
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Jorge Zumaeta (November 2013)

Dissertation Title: The Cool Entrepreneurship Program for At-Risk Youth: An Illustration of the Social Construction of Economic Thinking
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Karen Gold (May 2013)

Dissertation Tilte: Reading (and Writing) Between the Lines: Narrative as Relational Resource for Alternative Stories of Healthcare Practice
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Lisa K. Sydow (May 2013)

Dissertation Title: Careering: Generating a Path from Uncertainty to Discovery
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Samuel Mahaffy (May 2013)

Dissertation Title: Relational Presence: The Spatiality of Breakthrough Decision Making through a Relational Constructionist Lens
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Jeff Fifield (May 2013)
Dissertation Title: How Might Appreciative School Leadership Meet the Needs of the 21st Century Schools? An Initial Inquiry
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Don McCown (May 2013)

Dissertation Title: Exploring (and expanding) the Ethical Dimensions of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice (and Beyond)
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Laine Goldman
(May 2013)

Dissertation Title: The Migrant Creative: U.S. Media Freelancers at the Border of a Changing Work Culture
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Susanne Lucie Bauer (May 2013)

Dissertation Title: Dialogues for Knowledge and Development: The Case of International Development Cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
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Bonnie Milne
(November 2012)

Dissertation Title: Creating Social Capital Inspiring Stories of Emirati Women
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Sherry Harsch-Porter (October 2012)

Dissertation Title: Education as Possibility: Coaching for Persistence
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Kristin Bodiford (November 2012)
Dissertation Title: Choppin’ it Up: Youth-Led Dialogues for Positive Change
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Margot Brink
(November 2012)
Disseration Title: Stories ofF Migration: From Here to There and Back … and the Stuff in-between
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Stephen Shimshock (November 2012)
Dissertation Title: Open Source Evaluation: Transforming the Evaluator and the Evaluand from Roles to Participatory Actions
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Kon Kornelio Madut (November 2012)
Dissertation Title: Help Not Wanted: (Un)Employment Experiences of Visible Minority Migrants in the City of Ottawa, Canada
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Nick Dayton (November 2012)
Dissertation Title: Integrating Problem-Based Business Improvement Methods with Strengths-Based Constructionist Methods
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Teresa Gloria Sonia Quintana Puschel (Spring 2012)
Dissertation Title: “Construcción de Significados en un Mundo Relacional Desde las Posibilidades de Cada Persona”
"Construction of Meaning in a Relational World from the Possibilities of Each Person"
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Gita Baack (Spring 2012)
Dissertation Title: An Exploration of Resilience in the Generation After the Holocaust: Implications for Secondary Inheritors of Trauma, Displacement and Disastrous Events
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Joan Francisca Marques and Satinder Kumar Dhiman (Fall 2011)
Dissertation Title: Buddhist Psychology in the Workplace: A Relational Perspective
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Randy Janzen (Fall 2011)

Dissertation Title: From War to Peace: The Reintegration Experience of Guatemalan Ex-Combatants: A Grounded Theory Inquiry
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Tobias Raphael Schüth (November 2011)

Dissertation Title: Appreciative Principles and Appreciative Inquiry in the Community Action for Health Programme in Kyrgyzstan
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Karen Dawson (November 2011)

Dissertation Title: Leadership from the File Room to the Board Room: A Grounded Theory Inquiry into the Influences of a Leadership Development Program on Participants
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Cara Weston-Edell (Fall 2011)
Dissertation Title: Collaborative International Projects: Innovations, Practices, and Outcomes
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Loek Schoenmakers (November 2011)
Dissertation Title: Sustainable Educational Change is Being in Relation: Based on the Insights of the I Believe in You! Process Suriname
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Ottar Ness (November 2011)
Dissertation Title: Learning New Ideas and Practices Together
A Co-operative Inquiry into Learning to use Johnella Bird’s Relational Language-making Approach in Couples Therapy.
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Aileen Maria Tierney (June 2011)

Dissertation Title: Dialogue: A Connection of Roots and Branches
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Jody Jacobson
(Spring 2011)
Dissertation Title: Transforming “Accidental Adversaries” Dynamics in Client Systems and Ourselves

Transforming “accidental adversaries” dynamics in client systems and ourselves, by Jody Jacobson.   This dissertation is a story about a company that found itself entrenched in an escalating dynamic known as accidental adversaries. The dynamic stifles collaboration and innovation, and is a leading preventable cause of limited growth in organizations.

The dissertation also tells the story of reconstructing the traditional consultant's role from expert observer to reflexive coach and partner.
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Rodney Merrill (Spring 2011)
Dissertation Title: Who Writes and About Whom in Personal Narrative?

A practice-based dialogical inquiry into the influence of Postmodernism and Social constructionism on the understanding and practice of nine writers of personal narrative
The initial purpose of this research project was to get some inkling of how much social constructionist and postmodern theorizing has affected the practice of nine writers and their conception of themselves as authors and persons.

The method was ethnographic and dialogical, resting on the epistemic assumptions of philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Mikhail Bakhtin. I did my best to open a space of conversation saturated with collegiality, reciprocity and respect. The goal was to recruit collaborators rather than subjects or specimens. I hoped that the reflective and reflexive processes of writing about how they go about writing would move them closer to their experience of personal writing than is possible when simply talking about it.
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Glenn Boyd (Spring 2011)
Dissertation Title: It Takes a Community: A Study of Supervision in the Our Lady of the Lake University-Houston M.S. in Psychology Program

This study focuses on students in the M.S. in Psychology program of Our Lady of the Lake University-Houston (TX). It employs a qualitative inquiry methodology, making use of two analytical tools, an adapted grounded theory and the Shotter Filter, an experimental lens adapted from the work of social psychologist, John Shotter. Findings suggest that the students have created ways to appropriate values implicit in the vision of the collaborative learning community as a way to cope with integration anxiety, the normal developmental stress of the need to integrate academic and clinical instruction into a workable synthesis.
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Virginia Belden-Charles (Spring 2011)
Dissertation Title: The Sustainability of a Woman’s Leadership Organization

This dissertation explores how a learning community for women leaders has been sustained through twenty years, from its formation through its various transformations. This research is based on various modes of research and organized by the metaphor of a spiral, which describes various phases of the author‘s reflections and forms of inquiry.
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Anne-Mette Korczynski (Spring 2011)
Dissertation Title: Performance. A Social Constructionist Way in the Second Language Classroom

The aim of this dissertation is to present you with a different method to second language acquisition. The source for getting the process started was to let students define what motivation was for them. Their voices became the off-spring for the challenge of establishing a location with an atmosphere for enjoying and appreciating the moment in coordination and to let learning emerge. In this dissertation I propose a social constructionist way in the second language classroom by writing myself into the long tradition of combining a theoretical view of language with a theory of learning in order to bring another method out in the open.
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Julie Tilsen (2010)

Dissertation Title: Resisting Homonormativity: Therapeutic Conversations with Queer Youth

This dissertation will attempt to bridge the gap between the practice of therapy and the bodies of scholarship generated within interdisciplinary fields of study such as queer theory and cultural studies.
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Rev. Dr. Elaine Beth Peresluha (February 2010)
Dissertation Title: In the Middle: A Comparison of the Limitations and Opportunities of an Individualist Ministerial Stance and a Relational Ministerial Stance, March 2010

This dissertation explores the limitations and opportunities of applying a Social Construction stance to congregational ministry through Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and Relational Responsibility.
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Yossi Tal and Itzik Lichtenfeld (Spring 2010)
Dissertation Title: Transferring the Aviation Risk Management Model (ARMM) into an Ambulatory Healthcare Organization

The thesis outlines the process of establishing Risk Management activities in Maccabi, in course of about ten years, while reflecting on the process and deriving specific and general insights as to the applicability of the ARMM to healthcare and organizational considerations of establishing the RMD (Risk Management Department).
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Kara Kaufman (Spring 2010)
Dissertation Title: Crossroad Moments with my Self: Conversation, Perspective, and Choice Through Social Constructionism

This dissertation is a result of an encounter with a quote from a book on social construction theory that suggested that the individual, autonomous self is dead (Burr, 2003, p. 23).
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Carol Lorraine Hedtke (Spring 2010)
Dissertation Title: Folding Memories in Conversation: Remembering Practices in Bereavement Groups

This qualitative study investigated how conversations of death and grief are affected by
participation in remembering conversations about the deceased in a time-limited support
group setting. Remembering conversations seek to keep alive the stories, legacies,
memories and recollections long after a person has died. Rather than living with the
modern assumption that death severs the emotional connection and people need to say
“good bye”, remembering conversations cultivate opportunities for on-going
conversations in the narratives we tell. This can build upon best of a relationship to
navigate the challenges in following the death of a loved one.
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Christine Dennstedt (February 2010)

Dissertation Title: The Interplay of Substance Misuse and Disordered Eating Practices in the Lives of Young Women: Implications for Narrative Therapeutic Practice

The majority of studies pertaining to substance misuse and eating disorders are
dominated by concurrent disorders research. Within that framework, traditional medical,
psychological, biochemical models, and the disease model of addiction prevail. Studies
that consult young women about their ideas and knowledge for how to best address these
problems in therapy are relatively rare within these fields.
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Lesley Lahaye and Larry Espe (February 2010)
Dissertation Title: Co-creating Schools of the Future: Approaching Change in a Canadian Public School System Through Appreciative Inquiry

This dissertation questions if our traditions in public education are continuing to
serve us well. It explores how asset based conversations made possible through a process
of Appreciative Inquiry might help a community to examine its schools, determine what
is of greatest value to continue doing, and generate possibilities for action and innovation
in order to better prepare students for a future world.
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Vikki Reynolds (February 2010)
Dissertation Title: Doing Justice as a Path to Sustainability in Community Work

This dissertation illustrates an ethical positioning for doing justice in community work, one that is informed by a philosophy of solidarity and social justice activism. I am interested in the challenges in supervising community workers who work alongside clients who are subjected to social injustice and extreme marginalization. How can we support community workers in doing this difficult work in the margins in ways that are in accord with our collective ethics for social justice? How can we experience sustainability and transformation collectively across time? This writing offers a hope-filled response to these questions bridging activism and community work.
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Shayamal Kumar Saha (2009)

Dissertation Title: Promotion of Self-help in Development & Social Change Constructing Non Subject-Object Processes
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Susan Kay Riva-Mossman (June 2009)
Dissertation Title: Conflict Narratives: Mediation Case Studies in an Intercultural Context

The Narrative Model in mediation provides a theoretical framework that can be used to better
understand the relevance of intercultural case studies in mediation that took place in Valais,
Switzerland between 2001 and 2008. This process-oriented model distinguishes itself from
more classical problem-solving models in mediation. The descriptions presented in the
conflict narratives analyze and reflect upon the performative, relational, and dialogical nature
of the transformative processes inherent in the narrative mediation model.
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Bill Blaine Wallace (June 2009)

Dissertation Title: A Pastoral Psychology of Lament Pastoral Method-Priestly Act-Prophetic Witness

My eight years of ministry among the dying and bereaved in two settings rife with sorrow and suffering—The Grady Hospice Program at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia and The Hospice at Mission Hill, an acute inpatient hospice in Boston, Massachusetts for persons dying of AIDS—left me with an indelible awareness of and curiosity about the ironic joy and creative energy for justice-making that emanated from these communities. This dissertation is an attempt to further substantiate, better understand, and test the validity of my awareness and the legitimacy of my curiosity.
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Janice DeFehr (2008)

Dissertation Title: Transforming Encounters and Interactions: A Dialogical Inquiry Into the Influence of Collaborative Therapy in the Lives of its Practition

This dissertation extends my longstanding interest in reciprocity and mutual influence in social work and counseling/psychotherapy practice. In this project, fourteen Collaborative practitioners from six countries utilize ‘in person’ conversation and an extended period of journal writing to respond to our project’s central question: How can you describe your practice as generative and transforming for yourself?
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Kathleen Clark (2008)

Dissertation Title: Bringing Dialogue and Collaborative Law to Health Care

The subject of my dissertation is the use of collaborative law in medical error/mistake situations. Collaborative law is a non-litigation process which seeks to bring compassion, admission of error, when appropriate, conversations, and forgiveness to situations in which medical error or an adverse event has taken place. At the present time, collaborative law in medical error situations has not proven effective due, in part, to fear and mistrust among the stakeholders necessary to the process.
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Peggy Penn (2008)
Dissertation Title: Joined Imaginations

In the mid-nineties, my late colleague, Marilyn Frankfurt, and I were investigating what language is and what it does and had already begun a project on language and writing. We had read and studied Mikhail Bakhtin and were intrigued by his idea of "dialogism in therapy".
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Marvin Shaub (April 2008)

Dissertation Title: Transitions in Acculturation: The Psycho-Social Adjustments of American Immigrants

A qualitative dissertation discussing adjustments of American immigrants from the viewpoint of development of acculturation as a social process. Four phases are constructed---mono-cultural, bi-cultural, hybrid cultural and post cultural. Illustrative material is developed through interviews with immigrants from Hispanic, Muslim, Japanese and other cultures. Relevant theory is reviewed, culminating with an integrative overall model by John Berry. My own interpretive framework ACES is presented and discussed. Examples from my own life experience show how post cultural orientation can be developed either aided by modern information technology or separately. The Ether-World, an endogenous condition of relationship to technology, is introduced.
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Doug Shadel and Karla Pak (2007)
Dissertation Title: The Psychology of Consumer Fraud

Doug Shadel and Karla Pak worked together on this research project. The dissertation studies financial exploitation of older consumers through the lens of social construction by scrutinizing the relationship between the sender of the message (con man) and the receiver of the message (victim) and by studying the differences between victims and non-victims.
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Sandra Cottingham (2007)

Dissertation Title: Implementing the Mandate of Inclusion for Students with Special Needs: A Model for Moving from Concept to Action

Dr. Cottingham's dissertation is on the topic of "inclusive schools". Although inclusion has been mandated by government and has become common language found at every level of school planning, it remains at the conceptual stage. In fact, the prerequisites for successful educational integration of students with disabilities are so frequently ignored that the very principle of inclusion has become threatened. The call for social change in education on the issue of inclusion is at a critical juncture.
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Myra Virgil (2006)

Dissertation Title: The Relational Realisation of Policy in Practice:
Negotiating a narrative community of race, gender and other privileged identities

This inquiry invites participants to reflect upon how their fundamental belief systems, as influenced by their experiences as, and with, members of different racial groups, genders and social class constructs for example, impact their working relationships and decision-making practices. The cross-disciplinary participants' "stories" on how aspects of identity, both their own and others, mediate between the organization's fundamental philosophies and how people in the organization relate, function and task on a daily basis. The participant's stories reflect not only their own identities, but of the individual in relation to other organizational participants within the co-constructed and shared system factors that are alive in all organizations.
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Liesbeth Gerritsen (2006)

Dissertation Title: Metaphors of the Organization: Discourse in Public and Private Worlds

In this thesis Liesbeth Gerritsen explores the role of metaphor in the public and private realms of organizational life. Metaphors that appear in group settings are compared and contrasted with metaphors that are used by individuals privately to describe the organization. She examines how people's private metaphors of the organization relate to metaphors used by members in a group context. Are people's private metaphors embedded within the group metaphors? Do group metaphors intersect with the private domain? This discussion is framed against the backdrop of six traditional, dominant assertions on metaphor in organizations found in the literature. A highlight of this discussion is an examination of metaphors as discursive implements used pragmatically to perform certain functions in conversations.
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Bella Borwick (2005)
Dissertation Title: A Hidden Child: Identity and Reconstructed Self: A Quest for Transparency in Psychotherapy.

Her dissertation examines the role of the therapist in couple's therapy and the influence that this temporary third person brings to bear in the construction of this triad. Therapists, a surprisingly neglected group in the copious literature on couple's therapy, bring into the relationship the representation of an additional system with a set of values, life experiences, opinions and notions that give additional meaning and understanding of what it is to be a couple. The way in which this authority may direct the outcome of the therapy is examined through in-depth interviews.

Arne Vestegaard (2005)
Dissertation Title: Resisting Homonormativity: Therapeutic Conversations with Queer You

Arne Vestegaard is an independent organizational psychologist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. His PhD. project is an exploration of project management processes in projects under high complexity, change and unpredictability based on the concept of the reflective practitioner. Focus is on collective sense-making, management of meaning and building of trustful relations in and around projects.
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Jane Seiling (2005)

Dissertation Title: Moving from Individual to Constructive Accountability
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Franklin Olson (2003)

Dissertation Title: Social Constructionism in Community Development in the Spring Branch, Memorial Community of Houston, Texas

Franklin works in counseling and program development for a 6,000 member Methodist church in Houston. As he describes his dissertation, "It explores the role of archetypal symbol and myth in developing relational collaborations in a diverse community using qualitative action research. Social constructionist and appreciative inquiry methodology is used to bridge between various religious, ethnic, and economic groups to build relationships and social capital through identification of common archetypal themes and then acting on those themes through community action.
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Madelyn Blair (2001)
Dissertation Title: A Conversation on Gender - Women and Men Working in International Organizations: Using Research as a Catalyst to Address the Issues of Women.
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