Linking Faculty to Organization Development and Change: Teaching4Learning@Unipd

  • Monica FedeliEmail author
Part of the Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning book series (IAKM, volume 8)


Faculty development is intricately connected with organization development and change. Most of the research on faculty development focuses on faculty teaching effectiveness and faculty personal and professional development. The instructor remains the only unit of analysis, with little attention given to the actions and strategies to develop the organization in order to foster excellent teaching while building strong communities of learning. Further, research on faculty development overlooks how to create a culture of innovation, fails to identify the impact of faculty development programs on the organization, and neglects the organizational implications of promoting teaching innovation.

The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that faculty development, and in particular the program Teaching4Learning@Unipd, could not be realized without a strong institutional commitment to develop and change and to invest money and energy in the innovation process.

Faculty development in this sense can become a means and an opportunity to develop old and prestigious institutions like the University of Padova, involving all different actors at different levels of the organization: personally, and in group, through the building of faculty learning community (FLC) (Adams and Mix, AILACTE J 11:37–56; Cox, New Dir Teach Learn 97(97):5–23, 2004; Int J Acad Dev 1324(September):1–13, 2013; Stanley, Arts Educ Policy Rev 112(2):71–78, 2011).

This chapter aims to address the following questions: What are the challenges of promoting faculty development at a big Italian university? How can faculty development impact organization development and change? Which strategic actions and practices most effectively promote change? What are future opportunities to develop research and practices linked to faculty and organization development?


Faculty development Organizational development Organizational change 


  1. Adams, S. R., & Mix, E. K. (2014). Taking the lead in faculty development: Teacher educators changing the culture of university faculty development through collaboration. AILACTE Journal, 11, 37–56.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, D. L. (2016). Organization development. The process of leading organizational change. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
  3. Angelique, H., Kyle, K., & Taylor, E. W. (2002). Mentors and muses: New strategies for academic success. Innovative Higher Education, 26(3), 195–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bamford, D., & Forrester, P. (2003). Managing planned and emergent change within an operations management environment. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 23(5), 546–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beckhard, R. (1969). Organization development: Strategies and models. Reading, MA: Adison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  6. Bierema, L. (2014). Organization development: An action research approach. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.Google Scholar
  7. Bolisani, E., & Bratianu, C. (2018). Emergent knowledge strategies. Strategic thinking in knowledge management. Swiss: Springer International.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bruffee, K. A. (1987). The art of collaborative learning. Change, 19(2), 42–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burke, W. W. (2010). Il cambiamento organizzativo: Teoria e pratica. Milano: FrancoAngeli.Google Scholar
  10. Burke, W. W. (2011). A perspective on the field of organization development and change: The Zeigarnik effect. Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences, 47(2), 143–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burnes, B. (2004). Kurt Lewin and the planned approach to change: A re-appraisal. Journal of Management Studies, 41(6), 977–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cornelius-White, J. (2007). Learner-centered teacher-student relationships are effective: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 113–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cox, M. D. (2004). Introduction to faculty learning communities. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 97, 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cox, M. D. (2013). The impact of communities of practice in support of early-career academics. International Journal for Academic Development, 1324(September), 1–13.Google Scholar
  15. Daly, C. J. (2011). Faculty learning communities: Addressing the professional development needs of faculty and the learning needs of students. Currents in Teaching and Learning, 4(1), 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Darwin, A., & Palmer, E. (2009). Mentoring circles in higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 28(2), 125–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  18. Dirkx, J., & Serbati, A. (2017). Promoting faculty professional development: Strategies for individual and collective reflection towards institutional change. In E. Felisatti & A. Serbati (Eds.), Preparare alla professionalità docente e innovare la didattica universitaria (pp. 21–38). Milano: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  19. European Commission. (2011). Supporting growth and jobs—An agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems. Retrieved from
  20. European Commission. (2013). Report to the European Commission on improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  21. European University Association. (2018). A positive learning and teaching climate through the continuous development of teaching competences. Retrieved from
  22. Fedeli, M. (2016). Coinvolgere gli studenti nelle pratiche didattiche: potere, dialogo e partecipazione. In M. Fedeli, V. Grion, & D. Frison (Eds.), Coinvolgere per apprendere. Metodi e tecniche partecipative per la formazione (pp. 113–142). Lecce: Pensa Multimedia.Google Scholar
  23. Fedeli, M., Frison, D., & Grion, V. (2017). Fostering learner-centered teaching in higher education. In V. Boffo, M. Fedeli, F. Lo Presti, C. Melacarne, & M. Vianello (Eds.), Teaching and learning for employability. New strategies in higher education (pp. 89–115). Milan: Pearson Italia.Google Scholar
  24. Fedeli, M., & Taylor, E. W. (2016). Exploring the impact of a teacher study group in an Italian university. Formazione & Insegnamento, XIV(3), 2279–7505.Google Scholar
  25. Fox, R. (2001). Constructivism examined. Oxford Review of Education, 27(1), 23–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gosling, D. (2014). Collaborative peer-supported review of teaching. In J. Sachs & M. Parsell (Eds.), Peer review of learning and teaching in higher education (Professional learning and development in schools and higher education) (Vol. 9). Dordrecht: Springer, Science+Business Media.Google Scholar
  27. Hagenauer, G., & Volet, S. E. (2014). Student relationship at university: An important yet under-researched field. Oxford Review of Education, 40(3), 370–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Heinrich, E. (2014). Toward using relevant collegial contexts for academic development. Active Learning in Higher Education, 15(3), 215–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Holbeche, L. (2006). Understanding change: Theory, implementation and success. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  30. Holmes, C. M., & Kozlowski, K. A. (2014). Faculty experiences in a research learning community. Journal of Faculty Development, 28(2), 35–42.Google Scholar
  31. Hosking, D. M., & McNamee, S. (Eds.). (2006). The social construction of organization. Herndon, VA: Copenhagen Business School Press.Google Scholar
  32. Jensen, K., & Aiyegbayo, O. (2011). Peer observation of teaching: Exploring the experiences of academic staff at the University of Huddersfield. Working paper. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield.Google Scholar
  33. Kahut, G. F., Burnap, C., & Yon, M. G. (2007). Peer observation of teaching: Perception of the observer and the observed. College Teaching, 55(1), 19–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  36. Livne-Tarandach, R., & Bartunek, J. M. (2009). A new horizon for organizational change and development scholarship: Connecting planned and emergent change. In R. W. Woodman, W. A. Pasmore, & A. B. Rami Shani (Eds.), Research in organizational change and development (Vol. 17, pp. 1–35). Bingley: Emerald Group.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. MacKenzie, J., Bell, S., Bohan, J., Brown, A., Burke, J., Cogdell, B., & Tierney, A. (2010). From anxiety to empowerment: A learning community of university teachers. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(3), 273–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McGrath, D., & Monsen, S. (2015, March 27). Peer observation of teaching. A discussion paper prepared for the peer observation of teaching colloquium. Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation.Google Scholar
  39. Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2014). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  40. Ministero dell’Istruzione della Ricerca e dell’Università. (2016). Autovalutazione valutazione, accreditamento iniziale e periodico delle sedi e dei corsi di studio universitari. Decreto Ministeriale 978 del 12 dicembre 2016. Retrieved from
  41. Myers, P., Hulks, S., & Wiggins, L. (2012). Organizational change: Perspectives on theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Neal, F., & Peed-Neal, I. (2010). Promoting your program and grounding it in the institution. In K. J. Gillespie, D. L. Robertson, & Associates (Eds.), A guide to faculty development (2nd ed., pp. 99–115). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  43. Nugent, J. S., Reardon, R. M., Smith, F. G., Rhodes, J. A., Zander, M. J., & Carter, T. J. (2008). Exploring faculty learning communities: Building connections among teaching, learning, and technology. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 51–58.Google Scholar
  44. Olson, E. E., & Eoyang, G. H. (2001). Facilitating organization change: Lessons from complexity science. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.Google Scholar
  45. Schlitz, S. A., Connor, M. O., Pang, Y., Stryker, D., Markell, S., Krupp, E., & Redfern, A. K. (2009). Developing a culture of assessment through a faculty learning community: A case study. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 21(1), 133–147.Google Scholar
  46. Sherer, P., Shea, T., & Kristensen, E. (2003). Online communities of practice: A catalyst for faculty development. Innovative Higher Education, 27(3), 183–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stanley, A. M. (2011). Professional development within collaborative teacher study groups: Pitfalls and promises. Arts Education Policy Review, 112(2), 71–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sturko, P. A., & Gregson, J. A. (2008). Learning and collaboration in professional development for career and technical education teachers: A qualitative multi-case study. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 45(3), 5.Google Scholar
  49. Swanwick, T. (2008). See one, do one, then what? Faculty development in postgraduate medical education. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 84(993), 339–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Taylor, E. W. (2007). An update of transformative learning theory: A critical review of the empirical research (1999–2005). International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(2), 173–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Taylor, W. R. (2016). Fostering transformative learning. In M. Fedeli, V. Grion, & D. Frison (Eds.), Coinvolgere per apprendere. Metodi e tecniche partecipative per la formazione (pp. 113–142). Lecce: Pensa Multimedia.Google Scholar
  52. Todnem By, R. (2005). Organisational change management: A critical review. Journal of Change Management, 5(4), 369–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tosi, L. H., & Pilati, M. (2008). Comportamento organizzativo. Attori, relazioni, organizzazione, management. Milano: EGEA.Google Scholar
  54. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning meaning and identity. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wenger, E., McDermott, R. A., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  56. Wildman, T. M., Hable, M. P., Preston, M. M., & Magliaro, S. G. (2000). Faculty study groups: Solving “good problems” through study, reflection, and collaboration. Innovative Higher Education, 24(4), 247–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zara, V. (2017). Prefazione. In E. Felisatti & A. Serbati (Eds.), Preparare alla professionalità docente e innovare la didattica universitaria (pp. 9–10). Milano: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PadovaPadovaItaly

Personalised recommendations