Developing a Shared Vision for Change: Moving toward Inclusive Empowerment

Abstract

Shared vision is an important process for change projects, serving to amplify success, increase participation, and erode the divide between project leaders and constituents. Yet there are few empirical examinations of the process of building shared vision within academic departments. Using focus groups and participant observation, this study examines shared vision development within 13 large-scale change projects in engineering and computer science higher education. We find that teams of faculty, staff, administrators, and students built shared vision with stakeholders through co-orientation, formational communication, and recognition of stakeholder autonomy. Our results delineate practices for developing shared vision for academic change projects and demonstrate the benefits of inclusive stakeholder empowerment.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The program was originally named “Revolutionizing Engineering Departments” but expanded with the inclusion of Computer Science departments. From the 2019 solicitation for proposals the scope has narrowed again to Engineering only, and the name has reverted to the original.

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Acknowledgements

This material is based upon work supported by the United States National Science Foundation under Grants No. 1649318, 1649379, 1540072, and 1540042. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Doten-Snitker, K., Margherio, C., Litzler, E. et al. Developing a Shared Vision for Change: Moving toward Inclusive Empowerment. Res High Educ 62, 206–229 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-020-09594-9

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Keywords

  • Academic change
  • Buy-in
  • Computer science
  • Engineering
  • Shared vision
  • Stakeholders