Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leading organizational change in higher education
by Taylor, Eileen, Ed.D., Indiana Wesleyan University, 2015, 145; 3685153
Abstract (Summary)

Leaders are frequently required to lead change due to mergers, expansions into new markets, and new initiatives to enter global markets compounding the need for change leadership. Frequent change is more the rule rather than the exception. Change is more needed today yet a poor result from leading change can adversely impact a leader's influence. How does a leader know when to lead a change initiative or when to take the easier route and simply stay with the status quo?

An in depth study of what appeared to be a very risky and highly successful organizational change initiative was thought to possibly shed light on answering these difficult leadership questions. This inductive qualitative case study discovered a university that achieved a successful, sustainable organizational change. The leader overcame the organizational change odds of one-third to two-thirds of the outcomes are often unsuccessful (Beer & Nohria; Bibler; as cited in Gilley, Dixon, & Gilley, 2008). "The rate of failure to deliver sustainable change at times reaches 80–90%" (Cope as cited in Gilley, Dixon, & Gilley, 2008, p. 153).

The leader in the private university organization in the Midwest that led the successful organizational change was inspired by his personal vision. He did not lead change using a theoretical framework. He was successful in persuading the board to authorize implementation of his vision. The president established goals to lead the way for workers to help achieve the organizational change. He effectively communicated his vision and goals and met resistance due to the status quo. The president overcame the challenges of status quo, and the successful organizational change resulted in an effervescent campus environment with record breaking-fundraising. Regardless of the type or size of the major change, organizations that seek to make change may glean insights from this study of how leaders of one organization approached significant change.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Freemyer, James
Commitee: Blackman, Orville, Fratzke, Michael
School: Indiana Wesleyan University
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Management, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Change management, Higher education, Leadership, Organizational change, Qualitative research
Publication Number: 3685153
ISBN: 9781321607635
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