Organizational transformation : lessons learned by one community college Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/w6634651r

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  • Critics of higher education urge educators to transform their institutions so as to align them with the needs of the twenty-first-century learner. However, colleges desiring to survive in a rapidly changing external environment often discover they must first find a way to make fundamental changes in their institutional culture. Some of the external forces driving change include increased competition from nontraditional and traditional providers, new technologies, changing student preferences, the erosion of cost and convenience as a competitive advantage, tightening resources, and an emerging focus that places learning at the heart of the academic enterprise. A review of the literature suggests that this topic is a primary concern of many colleges. Yet, few colleges have gotten beyond the design stage and realized the successful implementation of the improvements that were desired. This study spanned 4 years and used qualitative methods to conduct an in-depth study of how one community college responded to external forces by attempting to transform from a bureaucratic organization to a high-performance work system. The study describes the reasons for the change, the approach used, and the results realized. Conclusions suggest that indeed certain factors and strategies are essential to create the capacity for change within an organization; however, unless these strategies include the support and commitment of executive leadership and significant attention to the human side of change, they will not lead to sustainable change. This study provides information on how one community college approached organizational transformation by addressing internal structural, cultural, and political impediments. A description of one community college's attempt to develop and implement transformational change can help educators describe, explain, understand, and perhaps even predict behavior within other institutions of higher education. This study describes how a community college developed the capacity to realize change and the difficulties encountered with implementation.
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