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ERIC Number: EJ944313
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0736-0983
Action Research to Support the Sustainability of Strategic Planning
Antheil, Jane H.; Spinelli, Stephen, Jr.
Planning for Higher Education, v39 n4 p23-31 Jul-Sep 2011
This article suggests that developing a strategic plan, even through a highly participative and data-driven process, is not sufficient to sustain change if implementation of the plan is not monitored as an organizational change event. To the degree that a strategic plan is institutionally transformative, monitoring change during implementation becomes even more important. It is only as the plan is implemented, as people start to change their language, their mental models, and their perceptions of what this particular university is and will be in its distinctiveness, that one can say the change is actual and sustainable. It makes good sense to use knowledge about organizational change and organizational learning during planning and implementation processes. Action research--co-designed by and shared with stakeholders--triggers conversations that help to better align campus perceptions and expectations regarding the pace of change and the impact of the strategic plan on organizational structures, roles, and individual competencies. Action research provides opportunities for faculty and administrators to employ systems thinking and to observe how larger issues of culture, values, and communication are supporting and/or hindering strategic plan implementation. Moving toward a learning orientation as an organization requires time, a variety of intentional activities, and leadership at many levels of the institution. Action research is an important capacity-building tool in this journey. By employing action research during implementation of the university strategic plan, a roadmap takes shape for monitoring transformative change and sustainability as well as ongoing organizational vitality and resilience. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania