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ERIC Number: ED556835
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 209
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-7733-2
Succession Planning and Knowledge Transfer in Higher Education
Grossman, Connie S.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
A leadership gap is occurring as the result of Baby Boomer retirements coupled with the lack of academic succession planning. Transferring organizational knowledge from leadership to successors is a challenging task during leadership change. Succession planning processes are designed for present and future organizational needs by facilitating knowledge creation, storage, and transfer. The research questions focused on philosophies and strategies driving academic succession planning and knowledge transfer. Organizational knowledge based theory indicated that organizational leadership change may reduce forward momentum when knowledge transfer is at risk. Specific higher education accreditation authorities require reporting of institutional planning for leadership change. This qualitative holistic multiple case study explored philosophies that support institutional decisions regarding leadership replacement and knowledge transfer at four Midwestern higher education institutions. A purposive sample of higher education institutions included a suburban four year medical arts college, a rural public four year college, and two rural community colleges. Data was collected through semi-structured academic executive interviews and review of formalized institutional accreditation documents. Study results indicated that non-formalized strategies for knowledge transfer occur in higher education, existing knowledge transfer activities have shortcomings, and the institutional culture of mentoring and trust promotes knowledge transfer. Guiding philosophies that drive succession planning are a result of increased demand for institutional accountability and continual quality improvement by accrediting bodies. Results indicated that academic succession planning may lack implementation due to non-disclosed retirement intentions, a non-supportive college culture, and inadequate internal leadership pools. Nonexistence of succession planning results from philosophies of searching externally for "best fit", belief that informal succession planning strategies are adequate, and confidence that institutional trust and reputation attracts competent leadership. Formalized succession planning continues to be disregarded in higher education, sporadic knowledge transfer activities occur, and leadership style influences knowledge transfer. Suggested practical applications included evidence-based leadership training, identification of desired leadership competencies, well-designed employee performance review, and workplace mentoring. A recommendation to formalize knowledge transfer, capture, storage, and retrieval was suggested. Recommendations for future research included internal versus external leadership success rates, evidenced-based leadership training, effective talent identification, and factors affecting leadership turnover rates at higher education institutions. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A