You can’t always get what you want: Change management in Higher Education

Date

2014

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1065-0741

Volume Title

Publisher

Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This paper qualitatively describes an attempt to enhance curriculum design and delivery processes in universities through the development and introduction of new information systems and procedures. It examines the experiences of 5 out of the total 27 institutions involved in the UK JISC Curriculum Design and Delivery programme as they attempted to implement campus-wide changes. Common themes that emerged across all 5 projects were the interconnectedness of university systems, proliferation of alternative ‘feral’ systems, a tendency for project remits to drift, resistance from other parts of the institution, planning imperatives, staff turnover and dependency failures. Conclusions are that cultural change underpins effective innovation and that cultural change is harder than technical innovation. It is best achieved through participatory, campus-wide approaches, although a “submarine” strategy may be necessary to deflect opposition. Stakeholders should be kept informed about benefits to them and it is important for projects to be responsive and adaptive and to recognise that participatory approaches may be institutionally risky. It concludes with practical recommendations for achieving lasting large scale change in the higher education environment. The JISC Curriculum Design and Delivery programme was arguably the largest single coordinated ICT based change management programme yet seen in the UK and the findings of this study provide insights into common barriers to effective change in universities and how to overcome them.

Description

Keywords

change management, top-down, bottom-up, distributive, leadership, collaboration, participation, curriculum design, large scale, JISC, stakeholders, feral systems, resistance, Change Management, top-down, bottom-up, distributive, leadership, collaboration, participation, curriculum design, large scale, JISC, stakeholders, feral systems, resistance

Citation

Brown, S. (2014) You can’t always get what you want: Change management in Higher Education. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 31 (4), pp. 208-216

Rights

Research Institute