This qualitative case study explored the experiences of doctoral students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as they transitioned from a fairly stable academic department experiencing significant changes. To achieve the purpose of the study, I investigated the experiences of doctoral students through an organizational development perspective and analyzed how they themselves interpret changes. This study attempted to expand research to include a conceptual foundation for organizational change, identify how departmental changes affect doctoral students, and strategies for an academic department transformation. Perceptions from doctoral students and document data as back up were seen as essential in furthering the understanding of organizational changes in higher education.
Using the interpretive case study methodology of Michael Quinn Patton, I devised a conceptual foundation for organizational change in an academic department about the core elements of doctoral students' needs during transition for continued progress toward degree completion. A missing link within and among the core elements would alter or impair a doctoral student's experiences and advancement toward degree completion. In the end, what continued to be an important stronghold for them before the transformation and then following the merger of the department remained critical. These doctoral students needed communications, considered the faculty relationships necessary, and looked for a sense of community. What was presented to and arranged for them caught them by surprise. Findings yielded an analysis of doctoral student unlike any mentioned in the literature.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2011. Major: Work and Human Resource Education. Advisor: James M. Brown, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 151 pages, appendices A-C.
Frazier, Christina Coffee.
Organizational change in academic programs: a case study of doctoral students‘ experiences..
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