‘I am who I am’: A phenomenology of strategic roles portrayed by creatively insubordinate Filipino medical academic leaders


Background – Organizational life is a drama in which all are actors playing different roles, hence it is made relevant by its contextually-embedded focus on role enactment.

Purpose – This phenomenological study argues that medical education leaders assume strategic roles that are fit for their specific contexts. Thus it purports to answer the central question: As chief strategists, what roles do creatively insubordinate medical deans interpret and enact, in order to implement strategically effective change in their contexts?’

Design –The phenomenological design was employed using open-ended and semi-structured interviews of 21 Philippine medical deans, following an aide-mémoire. After transcription of the digitally recorded interviews, extended texts were analyzed via dendogram. Inductive and deductive methods were used to ensure appropriate placement of raw data into appropriate themes.

Findings –Interestingly, this study affords to emerge, the D.E.E.P. Role Continuum that describes the envisioning, empathizing, empowering, energizing and emancipating roles assumed by Filipino medical deans as they initiate profound change in their school environments.

Conclusion – The extent to which medical school leaders become successful in their practicing of creative insubordination depends in great measure on their ability to enact various change-driven roles. Discovering and understanding these roles offer an important guide to new leaders, who will then be more able to shape their leadership approach to match their personality, their institutional context and the constituents they work with.

Keywords: medical deans, strategic roles, creative insubordination, Philippines

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