Date of Conferral







Patricia I. Fusch


Cloud technology requires a virtualized ubiquitous and scalable environment with shared resources. The general problem in cloud adoption is the absence of standardization across organizations. A standardized approach remained elusive since the inception of the Cloud First mandate. The purpose of this study was to explore leader-initiated change management (LICM) practices in cloud adoption within organizations. The theoretical framework included the classical theories of Kurt Lewin's organization change management, leader-member exchange, intentional change, and appreciative inquiry. A multiple case study design approach facilitated the exploration of LICM-value added practices to identify standardization in cloud adoption practices. Data collection included semistructured interviews from 8 high-level cloud adopters chosen from a resource pool of change management experts including a government chief information officer, academic college professor, military commander, and industry chief executive officer. Each interviewee represented an organization type providing perspectives on strategies for cloud adoption. Secondary data gathering included universal cloud standards and guidance from collaborative professional working groups. Emergent themes were identified after completing Yin's 5 stages of data analysis: LICM approaches for cloud decision-making, change management strategies, leader empowerment in action planning with progressive metrics, and successful learning outcomes in corporate universities. LICM strategies foster cooperative relationships and positive social change. Standardized cloud adoption practices also contribute to positive social change in reducing the environmental footprint through organizational efficiency.