Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dorothy Williams

Second Advisor

Pamela Thomas


There is a lapse in research exploring middle managers at medical schools during an organizational change. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine the perceptions of middle managers during an organizational change to mitigate burnout and build resilience. The literature reviewed explored how stressors from organizational changes may impact medical school middle managers, leading to feeling less secure about their position and increasing middle managers’ stress leading to burnout. For an organizational change to be successful, middle managers must build trust with their staff, communicate with middle managers, and engage middle managers in the change process. Burnout includes emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished accomplishment. Adapting to adversity or stress is referred to as resilience. Those without support networks, including social and professional, may suffer from compromised physical and mental health. Building employee resilience may assist middle managers recovering from disruptions. Sustainable organizations require a healthy environment for staff members and middle managers to mitigate burnout. Nine medical school middle managers were interviewed for this study. The hand-coded data revealed four themes: organizational support, communication, organizational environment, and motivation. Recommendations for further action include safe spaces and professional groups for middle managers, leadership communicating more clearly, leadership providing professional growth for staff, resources to build camaraderie among staff members, and leadership providing adequate staff for middle managers to run their departments efficiently.


Ed.D. Dissertation



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