Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
In a mixed methods study designed to explore the competencies and strategies utilized by self-described successful leaders of public, four-year U. S. institutions, this study confirmed that there was little difference among academic and non-academic leaders in their approach to successful change beyond that found in terms of non-academic preference for resilience and an academic preference for personal learning. Both leaders (N=47) showed high agreement for the nine proposed competencies, five of which were statistically higher in perceived importance (personal learning, resilience, emotional engagement/creating a safe space, networking/coalition building, and project management). Adapting Bolman and Deal’s four frames (2013) as an organizing framework for interview responses (N=25), the most frequent strategy themes in descending order were: personal strategies (including resilience, perseverance, setting expectations, establishing credibility, openness, adaptability/flexibility), political strategies (including knowing who to engage, scheming, sr. leader support, academic leader discretion), structure strategies (including forming/staffing a team and team activities such as benchmarking, use of a change model, creating a team charter), and symbolic strategies (including communication, inspiration, and emotional engagement activities). This study supports the creation of a competency framework that could be used for the recruitment/selection, coaching/mentoring, and ongoing development of both academic and non-academic higher education change leaders. Planning and change launch with communication were the primary phases referenced; institutionalization was minimally featured. Leaders would do well to partner with others in central units such as organizational development and/or human resource professionals to set change goals, monitor and evaluate progress, and embed the change into organizational structures, systems, and processes.
Aziz, Dawn, "Competencies And Strategies Utilized By Higher Education Leaders During Planned Change" (2018). Wayne State University Dissertations. 1914.