Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, Department of


First Advisor

Leverne A. Barrett

Second Advisor

Mark Burbach

Date of this Version

Summer 7-9-2012

Document Type



A dissertation presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Major: Human Science (Leadership Studies)

Under the supervision of Professors Leverne A. Barrett and Mark Burbach

Lincoln, Nebraska, July 2012


Copyright 2012, Kenneth L. Weaver


In order for cities to become more sustainable it is necessary for the leaders of the efforts to change the organizations and governments so that they understand and embrace what it means to be more sustainable. This study examined the change processes of two Oregon Cities, Corvallis and Eugene, that had made the choice to become more sustainable as a community. The approaches that the participant leaders used demonstrated the use of different ways of thinking about the leadership of change. The ways of thinking of the community leaders were formed by their unique personal backgrounds, knowledge, skills, and abilities. These became the lens through which they viewed the problems and challenges of a community that was striving to become more sustainable. The participant’s ways of thinking influenced their orientation toward change that guided or constrained their decision making and the strategic choices made when they engaged in the quest to achieve their goal of becoming a more sustainable community.

Advisors: Leverne A. Barrett and Mark Burbach