This case study describes the leadership of Maechee Sansanee Sthirasuta, a dynamic Theravâda Buddhist nun and the founder and director of the Sathira Dhammasathan meditation center in Thailand. Her leadership characteristics, impact on her followers and contributions to Thai society were examined. Data was gathered through interviews with Maechee Sansanee, her colleagues and experts, direct and participant observations, and content analysis of documents and media between 2004 and 2009, including a total of six months of fieldwork.
Maechee Sansanee's leadership was described through four dimensions: moral leadership, servant leadership, aesthetic leadership, and social entrepreneurship. She exemplifies moral values that are taught by Buddhism and demonstrates moral behaviors as shown to others. She serves the Buddha and the community by following Buddhist teachings and making herself useful to others. She created numerous projects that improved people's lives using her social entrepreneurial spirit and aesthetic development. While maechees generally have less social recognition and fewer resources than monks, they have more freedom from influence by the traditional sangha administration in pursuit of their activities, studies, and meditation. Maechee Sansanee has emerged as an exceptional leader in Thailand and the maechee community by utilizing her leadership and entrepreneurial skills while realistically recognizing constraints and possibilities.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2010. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Gerald W. Fry. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 173 pages, appendices A-G.
Leading with a "noble mission": the dynamic leadership of Maechee Sansanee Sthirasuta..
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