Jennifer R. Keup, Arianne A. Walker, Helen S. Astin, Jennifer A. Lindholm
During the past two decades higher education in America has attempted a number of reforms. Reform efforts are predicated on the assumption that proactive, intentional change efforts in colleges and universities can succeed despite the predilection for tradition and maintaining the existing culture. Culture proves to be a critical component in understanding the process of planned change and transformation in colleges and universities today. The significance of organizational culture becomes particularly clear as we operationalize institutional transformation. The concept of transformation described borrows from the work of Eckel, Hill & Green (1998), who make reference to organizational culture as one of four primary elements of planned change. They state that institutional transformation: "1) alters the culture of the institution by changing select underlying assumptions and institutional behaviors, processes, and products; 2) is deep and pervasive, affecting the whole institution; 3) is intentional; and 4) occurs over time" (p. 3, underline added).
The purpose of this digest is to review the research on institutional transformation as it is relates to organizational culture. The discussion of organizational culture's importance in institutional transformation will be organized around three primary aspects of the change process: 1) readiness for, and responsiveness to, institutional transformation, 2) resistance to planned change, and 3) the results of the transformation process.
READINESS & RESPONSIVENESS
An organization's culture can be understood as the sum total of the assumptions, beliefs, and values that its members' share and is expressed through "what is done, how it is done, and who is doing it" (Farmer, 1990, p. 8). However, members of an organization often take its culture for granted and do not truly evaluate... [continues]
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