Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Doctoral Disseration Research

Learning about the values associated with Holocracy from esteemed colleagues at Zappos has inspired me to reach out to you. As a doctoral student in the PhD in Leadership and Change program at Antioch University, my dissertation focus is on discovering more about the social processes that evolve in organizations with exemplary leadership practices; specifically, cases of inclusive leadership where employees feel valued, respected, and included. My understanding of Holocracy is that it diffuses the power hierarchies and micromanagement of workflows evidenced in traditional organizations to encourage engagement, learning, and agility with the aim of more positive and productive outcomes. This premise appears to be synergistic with some of the most research on inclusive leadership which facilitates leadership as a collective, social process through relational, participative, and communicative practices. These practices are often characterized by leaders 1) committing to ethics of caring and support that reinforce strong human connection 2) building high quality communication and relationships within and across units 3) establishing safe channels for employee input and action 4) engaging organizational members in decision-making and change processes and 5) fostering a cycle of learning and development for all organizational members.

If my understanding of Holocracy and its synergy with inclusive leadership is on point, it leaves me wondering if you are aware of an organization that might find value in participating in an exploratory case study on inclusive leadership. These research findings could prove beneficial for helping other organizations to better understand how inclusive leadership and principles of Holocracy are an optimal path for organizations in today’s complex, global society. I warmly welcome any recommendations you may have.


Maria Dezenberg, PhD Candidate

2 Replies
Cobus Bothma

Hi Maria, I find this intriguing and would be interested to take part in a case study such as this.





We are doing Holacracy at WaTech in Washington State. We are currently doing a year long monitored experiment with Mike Lee of Harvard Business Review, and you might be interested in looking up some of the information provided by Mike, Harvard, or his study. We are only a few months in , so results are still forthcoming, but he is an excellent resource for Holacracy and process. Let me know if you need his contact information or any further help!