Part 5: Resistance/Opportunities for Change
Changes in higher education institutions are bound to happen. No matter what institution you may attend or work at, changes will be made to accommodate the students. Kezar (2009) points out that there is a common belief that change in higher education in both desirable and elusive (p. 19). To create support, we must first understand where resistance is stemming from. Things such as new pedagogical techniques, increase prestige, improve services, assess and measure learning outcomes, use technology, and/or become more student- and learner-centered are educational issues that trustees and presidents try to get faculty and staff to adopt (Kezar, 2009, p.19). In the case of the transfer enrollment policy, most of the resistance will come from internal stakeholders, such as faculty and staff members who may be heavily affected by this new initiative. We must counter their resistance with positive outcomes that will be a result from the policy. After all, understanding the process of change is critical to successful implementation (Kezar, 2001, p. 12).
Type of Change
This policy is an adaptation, where there are modifications and alternations in an organization or its components to adjust to changes in the external environment (Cameron, 1991, p. 284, as cited in Kezar, 2001, p. 14). The external environment, in this case, would be students who transferring to Apex State and need to have their credits properly transferred. Initially, it is a one-time response to the external environment (Kezar, 2001, p. 20). Although it was suggested that adaptive changes cannot predict the future and must constantly be reforecast (Kezar, 2001, p. 20), it is important that everyone is on the same page to prevent any reforecasting for this initial change.
Degree of Change
The transfer enrollment policy could be looked at as a first-order change. This degree of change involves minor adjustments or improvements in one or a few dimensions of the organization (Kezar, 2001, p. 16). In this case, only a few departments would adjust to the policy. This degree is also an evolutional change that is a linear process and does not change the institution’s core (Kezar, 2001, p. 16). Unlike first-order change, second-order is a transformational change that alters the institution’s mission, values, culture, functioning process, and structure (Kezar, 2001, p. 16).
Timing of Change
This policy is an evolutionary change. Unlike revolutionary, which can tragically damage an organization (Kezar, 2001, p. 18), evolutionary changes tend to be a natural – alteration of the institutional mission that happens over time (Kezar, 2001, p. 18). The enrollment policy allows students to transfer continuously in years to come without worrying about their credits not transferring properly. It would not damage nor tarnish the reputation of the college.
Scale of Change
The scale of change refers to dividing the organization in understandable parts, such as individual, interpersonal, and organizational parts (Goodman, 1982, as cited in Kezar, 2001, p. 18). With the transfer enrollment policy, the scale would be an adaption, firm-level, first-order change that only affects certain departments within the college, not the entire institution (Kezar, 2001, p. 18). Individual and interpersonal are affected because essentially, faculty, staff, and administration would be working individually and together in order to help students with their transfer credits.
Sources & Benefits
With the transfer enrollment policy, both internal and external forces are involved in this specific. The external sources/environmental would be the transfer students, which play a larger role in this specific organizational change (Kezar, 2001, p. 15). Internal forces (faculty, administration, staff), may be a little resistant to the over transfer policy. It may affect their autonomy/individual work efforts, work hours, and courses/learning outcomes. But, it could be beneficial, where they could be presented with more opportunities for research/scholarly activities, more efforts for collaboration, more courses that are based on research efforts, and more students that can take these courses. This is positive for the institution, as well. Although the change is a response to external factors, the impetus for change is usually internal (Kezar, 2001, p. 15).