A systems approach to team management

Enacting change in this organization requires a shift in organizational philosophy from a core/periphery hierarchy to a systems based model. In a systems based model, the core faculty and administrators jointly develop overarching principles of educational leadership that should be demonstrated in all possible relationships in a learning community: student-student, instructor-instructor, and instructor-students. These principles are communicated to the peripheral employees. They are tested and modified as appropriate. This kind of adaptive leadership, ie willingness to allow change that reflects the living experiments of the daily practice of the professional work environment.

In addition to adaptive response, another tenet of the systems-based model is collaboration and unity between disciplines so the organization as a whole can have a recognizable identity and a predictable product for the student. The organization is likened to a whole organism. Each department within the organization is an essential organ system. Therefore failure in one division creates malady in another. No leader should operate in a silo; rather, collaboration is key to community building.

In practical terms here is a timeline of events and projects that would advance the organizational transition from core/periphery hierarchy to a systems-based model: Please contact me if you would like to read my timeline. 

Selected References

Chase-Dunn, C., & Grimes, P. (1995). World-systems analysis. Annual review of Sociology, 387-417.

Clawson, D., & Page, M. (2011). The Future of Higher Education. New York, NY: Routledge.

Douglass, J. A. (2010). Higher education budgets and the global recession. Center for Studies in Higher Education. Retrieved from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/44m4p8r4

Elsby, M. W., Hobijn, B., & Sahin, A. (2010). The labor market in the Great Recession. National Bureau of Economic Research, No. w15979.

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