School of Nursing


Doctor of Philosophy


Rachel Joseph


nursing, faculty, academic merger, social capital


Educational Leadership | Nursing


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experience of undergoing a merger of two or more academic institutions within the United States for nursing faculty who chose to voluntarily depart the organization following the merger. The theoretical framework guiding this study was social capital theory as it discusses the importance of relationships and the resources those relationships provide. While assets may be acquired during a merger, social capital must be developed over time and is important for building a new combined healthy organizational culture. The study included nine participants who departed the institution in the timeframe between the merger announcement and the 5 years post-merger integration period. Data collection was conducted through virtual semi-structured interviews. Participants were encouraged to share their experiences with the merger. Moustakas’ phenomenological research methods were used for data analysis, including the use of epoché to reduce researcher bias throughout data collection and analysis. Review of the interview transcripts led to the clustering of data into themes which describe the essence of what these nursing faculty experienced as they underwent a merger within their school of nursing. The following four themes emerged: undesired change, loss of colleagues, unmet expectations, feelings and emotions.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 03, 2024