Transforming Higher Education: How Culture Disables a University’s Change Initiative
Numerous insights can be drawn from a successful as well as a failed change process. These insights contribute to the learning of points of caution while undertaking a change process at any organization. Organizations these days, undergo the change process frequently to adapt to the environment and changing needs of the society. The forces of change may be external or internal to the organization. With every change process, a change agent is associated who is responsible to initiate the change and ensure its successful implementation. However, equally important is the role of change recipients and their acceptance or rejection of the change initiative, which forms an important factor in determining the success or failure of the process. With this background, we attempt to decode the events associated with the rise and fall of a radical change initiative at DU, one of the premier higher education institutions of India. The case revolves around the protagonist Dr. Dinesh Singh (or the change agent) and the change recipients.
Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding before the Classroom Discussion
As a prerequisite for conceptual understanding, the participants should be encouraged to refer the following readings/books before the session, which will help for a meaningful discussion and adequate analysis of the case in the classroom:
- • Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2005). Organization development and change. Cengage Learning. Chapter 2: The Nature of Planned Change; Chapter 20: Organization Transformation
- • French, W. L. B., & Cecil, H. (1998). Organization development: behavioral science interventions for organization improvement. Pearson. Chapter 14: Issues in Consultant-Client Relationships: Chapter 16: Power, Politics, and Organization Development.
- • Kotter, J. P. (1995). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. 59-67
- • Ford, J. D., & Ford, L. W. (2009). Decoding resistance to change. Harvard Business Review, 87(4), 99-103.
- • O’Connor, C. A. (1993). Resistance: The repercussions of change. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 14(6), 30-36.
Case Positioning and Setting
This case can be effectively used in MBA/PGP, Executive MBA/PGP, Management/Executive Development Programmes, for courses like Organization Change and Development with a class duration of 75-90 minutes. It may also be used for training participants looking for Consulting Jobs.
The case unfolds various parallel events associated with a change initiative at a premiere Indian University and role of culture and stakeholders in the process.
Organizational Change and Development: This is an essential course in MBA/Executive Education in India as it prepares the participants to understand organizational change, development and devise change management plans in congruence with the culture of the organization they are associated with.