Understanding and Facilitating Organizational Change in the 21st Century: Recent Research and Conceptualizations

By Adrianna J. Kezar | Go to book overview

Higher Education Models
of Change: Examination Through
the Typology of Six Models

IN THIS ARTICLE, research illustrating the application of the six models of change to higher education institutions will be presented. This research review is intended to identify the explanatory power of these models for higher education institutions. There has never been a thorough review of these models summarizing their findings or comparing their abilities to explain the change process. This synthesis will be used to inform and develop the researchbased principles on change outlined in article six.

As outlined in article three, there are distinctions among models of change. Some document how it is actually occurring (models evolving from experience), whereas others describe effective approaches or advocate an approach (idealized models). It is important to be aware of this primary distinction in reviewing change theories. Understanding which models best explain the way change is occurring documents current practices. Yet idealized models, even if they have not been effective, may offer solutions to problems or hurdles in the creation of change. The studies presented in this article reflect both types of models—in practice and idealized.

As in the general change literature, teleological and evolutionary models are most prominent within the higher education literature. Political models are much more prevalent in higher education than in the general literature, but life-cycle and cultural models appear to be underused. There is a growing body of research in higher education examining change through a socialcognition perspective. So far, the cumulative evidence suggests that change can

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