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ERIC Number: ED417777
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Sense-making in the Community College: The Meanings of Organizational Change.
Levin, John S.
A study was undertaken to determine how individuals at community colleges made sense of organizational change, specifically with respect to the identification of external and internal forces of change. Interviews were conducted with over 200 administrators, board members, faculty, staff, and students at 6 community colleges in the United States and Canada, focusing on issues related to institutional change and economic, political, and social forces driving change. In addition, college and board meetings were observed and informal meetings were held with faculty and administrators. Based on the interviews, the following five observations were made: (1) managers were limited in the objective manipulation of the environment, functioning instead symbolically to manipulate and manage institutional interpretations of events; (2) a college's organizational context (its particular system identity) was a main influence, with colleges in loosely controlled systems exhibiting greater control than those in tightly managed systems; (3) the more college personnel assumed that a strong system existed, the less control they perceived that their college had over its own actions; (4) colleges that responded to environmental changes chose strategies that fit their institutional self-perceptions, while those that ignored changes saw them as inconsistent with their identity; and (5) internal influences over organizational change were contained within the organization's existing structures, combining these with institutional history, culture, and symbols as well as the organization's stage of development. (Contains 16 references.) (BCY)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A