Kat Miller-Stevens Publishes Book on ‘Founder’s Syndrome’

Colorado College Associate Professor of Business Katrina (Kat) Miller-Stevens recently published her second book, “Founders and Organizational Development: The Etiology and Theory of Founder’s Syndrome.” The book, co-authored with Stephen Block, a retired research professor from the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Public Affairs, is designed to help today’s researchers, faculty, students, and practitioners become familiar with the causes and dynamics of Founder’s Syndrome as an organizational condition challenging nonprofit/nongovernmental, social enterprise, and for-profit and publicly traded organizations.

The book uses applied social and psychological theories and concepts to peel away the layers of an organizational enigma, revealing three causes of Founder’s Syndrome and insight into the power and privileges assumed by founders who engage in undesirable and self-destructive behaviors leading to their termination; going from hero status to antihero.

Case studies also are included, with segments from interviews during interventions revealing the type of emotional turmoil experienced in organizations where Founder’s Syndrome is present. Insight is provided into accounts of well-known founders who were terminated or forced to resign.

Founders-and-Organizational-Development.jpgThe book, published by Routledge, integrates theory into practice, describing a new theory about the psychological reaction of Founder’s Syndrome victims, prevention ideas when designing new organizations, strategies for intervention, using content based on research and organization development consultation experiences, and integrating feedback from students who have launched organizations.

Miller-Stevens currently is director of the State of the Rockies Project, where her research focuses on nonprofit policy advocacy and the oil and gas industry in the Rocky Mountain West. She joined Colorado College in 2016 and teaches courses in the Economics and Business Department on nonprofit and business management, social impact, accounting, and nonprofit policy advocacy.


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