The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the experiences of student services staff in a midwestern university during an organizational change: implementation of quality practices and principles. The experiences were captured as they reflected during the interview process. The interview data were organized into 35 concepts from which five themes emerged. The five themes or categories identified in this study were: Experience of Change, Approach to My Work, Changes in Organizational Structure, Employee Morale, and Learning.
Universities and institutions of higher education are under great pressure as state and federal budgets get tighter, and funding for higher education is being cut significantly. As administrators and staff look to gain efficiencies and improve outcomes, they will be implementing organizational change. Continual process improvement (CPI) and total quality management (TQM) have evolved since the 1980s, when they were popularized in the United States.
Although success cases have been noted (e.g., Baldrige Award winners in Education), the adoption of these practices in education has not been widespread. Recommendations for improvements to the implementation of quality practices and principles in higher education administration settings include understanding the staff perspective of data collection, staffing, and feeling a sense of progress. The predominant paradigm in organizational change is that of episodic change: change is controllable with a distinct beginning and end and that the entire change process can be managed. Another paradigm to be considered and integrated is that of continuous change found in complex, adaptive systems and is organic in nature.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2011. Major: Education, Work/Community/Family Education. Advisor: Gary N. McLean. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 221 pages, appendices A-E.
Froehlich, Jill Carrie Menk.
Organizational performance improvement in higher education student affairs: a phenomenographic study..
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