Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 69–83 | Cite as

The Power of a Mission: Transformations of a Department Culture through Social Constructionist Principles

  • Gerald DriskillEmail author
  • April Chatham-Carpenter
  • Kristen McIntyre


This study analyzed the transformation of a departmental culture through a process of implementing a new mission statement. The revised departmental mission promoted positive practices and rituals that transformed faculty relationships and student learning. These positive and ethical practices were derived from social constructionist principles, which guided collaborative organizational communication behaviors consistent with the new departmental mission. The organizational culture that developed was intentionally tied to program planning and assessment. In this article we provide innovative practical and theoretically-driven implications for developing a transformative departmental culture, with relevance for high impact teaching and administrative practices, in the context of restructuring and institutional changes.


Positive communication Social constructionism Organizational culture Mission statements Organizational processes Policy formation Position papers Education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Driskill
    • 1
    Email author
  • April Chatham-Carpenter
    • 1
  • Kristen McIntyre
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied CommunicationUniversity of Arkansas-Little RockLittle RockUSA

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