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Wednesday, June 22 • 15:45 - 16:35
CON04.06 - Made to Slip: Why Good Initiatives Lose Traction

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This session will explore the slipperiness of institutional change – specifically, the factors that make it difficult to introduce, implement, and sustain educational initiatives. As Fullan and Scott (2009) put it, many institutions of higher education are “change averse” in that their structures, processes, and predispositions discourage experimentation and innovation. Even the most change capable of institutions may find certain kinds of projects more difficult to enact, particularly those involving activities that impact people in different roles, at multiple levels, and with conflicting interests.

In research published across Australia and the United Kingdom, post-secondary institutions are beginning to be understood as complex systems within which change is enormously difficult despite mounting and conflicting pressures to become more nimble (Flinn & Mowles, 2014). Evidence suggests that increased awareness of systems, their interdependent networks of individuals, and the dynamic nature of leadership within those networks can enhance the chances of successful change (Mårtensson, Roxå, & Stensaker, 2014; Sterman, 2006). In particular, this approach helps to elucidate how information moves and pools within systems and how this impacts the capacity for change.

Based on institutional and international research on leadership, this interactive session will examine how leaders can create traction for their initiatives through self-reflection, project assessment, and an exploration of institutional context and processes (Bolden, Petrov, & Gosling, 2008; Flinn & Mowles, 2014; Trowler, Saunders, & Knight, 2003; Wright et al., 2014). This exploration of leadership will help participants to better analyze change initiatives, identifying factors making it difficult to introduce, implement, and sustain them, and identify potential next steps in improving the traction of their projects based on that analysis.

avatar for Beverley Hamilton

Beverley Hamilton

University of Windsor
Bev Hamilton is the Academic Initiatives Officer in the Provost’s office at the University of Windsor. She undertakes research, projects, and policy development to enhance academic practice and the student experience. She is currently engaged with projects focused on teaching evaluation... Read More →

Jessica Raffoul

University of Windsor

Wednesday June 22, 2016 15:45 - 16:35 EDT
UCC 59