The Impact of Communication Strategies on Faculty Members’ Readiness for Curricular Change
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Curricular change is the “new normal” for medical schools. Assessing faculty readiness, perceptions about the necessity and urgency of change, and confidence in the capacity of the organization to successfully implement the process, have been identified as essential to managing the curricular change process. We used The Medical School’s Organizational Readiness for Curriculum Change Questionnaire (MORC) to assess and monitor faculty readiness for change. This 53-item survey uses a 5-point Likert scale to assess 3 factors. This project focused on the seven-item Communication subscale in order to guide the strategy for informing and involving faculty in the curricular change process. The MORC was distributed electronically to full-time faculty in December 2014 (pre-change), August 2016 (mid-change), and September 2017 (post-change). Respondents reported significantly increasing support and positive attitudes about curricular change, supporting the hypothesis that the communication strategies informed by MORC findings had a positive impact on faculty members’ perceptions of the process. As the leading faculty concerns reported in the MORC shifted from the merits of change to practical concerns about implementation, we adapted communications to address their priorities. The MORC proved useful in capturing quantitative data on faculty perceptions of curricular change but its value was limited by low response rates and unrepresentative samples. Scientists, full professors and tenure track faculty members were overrepresented in survey respondents. Survey lengths were identified as limiting participation. Our experience supports the development of a shorter version of MORC to retain validity and reliability while potentially increasing response rate.
KeywordsCurriculum change Organizational change Change management Communication strategies Faculty engagement
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
The project was granted exemption status by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Kansas Medical Center on November 20, 2014.
The invitation email to faculty members included details about the purpose of the project and information about data collection, analysis and use. In completing and submitting the questionnaire, the participant acknowledged consent.
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