Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The adaptability of academic advising teams in higher education
by McFarland, Leigh A., Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2011, 188; 3496478
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this single site case study was to identify how four advising teams in a medium-sized public university adapt to the changes presented to them and what role leadership and culture play in that adaptation. This was accomplished through analysis of advisor and administrator interviews, office and meeting observations, and reviews of documents relating to advising and university changes in curriculum and systems. The study was guided by team culture and the five core adaptation strategies described by Eckel and Kezar (2003).

The study indicates that although part of the same institution, each advising team has a unique culture and approach to doing their work. In turn each team has a different approach to their adaptation to the change that affects them. The study began with an examination of how and if the advising teams use the five core adaptation strategies described by Eckel and Kezar (2003). It was found that these adaptation strategies were not utilized because they require authority and the advisors do not have the organizational control necessary to use these strategies. However, the study revealed that the advising teams adapt to their environment through coping mechanisms depending on the type of adaptation. It was also found that the responses the advising teams have to particular change events depends on when they find out about the change as well as the culture and leadership of the teams. Consequently, their resilience to changes is a result of their ability to either absorb the change or alter their system quickly in reaction to the change. Implications are presented for universities and the advising teams in addition to recommendations for future study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Maslin-Ostrowski, Patricia
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 73/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, School counseling, Higher education
Keywords: Academic advisor, Organizational behavior, Organizational culture, Policy design, Policy implementation, Team advising
Publication Number: 3496478
ISBN: 978-1-267-15940-3
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