The learning organization and leadership for the college system

Osborne, Doreen Rosalind (1997) The learning organization and leadership for the college system. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

In order to remain viable and relevant in the global era, colleges must address the challenges of finding an effective operating system with a new style of leadership (Dennison, 1995). The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine the feasibility of the concept of the learning organization within the college system. Specifically it asked: Is the concept of a learning organization a viable framework for leadership within the college system? -- The study was conducted through semi-structured interviews with four senior college administrators in order to obtain their views on the purpose of the study. They were selected on the basis of their experience in college administration and thus are seen as experts. The study analyzed the feasibility of the five individual learning or leadership disciplines - Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Building Shared Vision, Team Learning, and Systems Thinking - that together define a learning organization (Senge, 1990). -- The data collection instruments consisted of several field research forms and tape-recorded interviews with individual administrators. The primary research tools used in the study were the Interview Protocols. -- Data analysis revealed that three out of four administrators interviewed believe the concept of the learning organization is feasible and can provide a viable framework for leadership within the college system. Only one administrator felt strongly that the public nature of the college system limited the feasibility of the concept, even though it was seen as desirable. All administrators felt that obstacles such as lack of autonomy, lack of organizational stability, inflexible attitudes, and lack of balance with respect to the roles and responsibilities of the individual versus the college have inhibited organizational learning. -- Principal implications of the study include the need for professional development as well as accountability and feedback mechanisms. Findings are expected to contribute to the body of existing research on learning organizations in general, within community colleges in particular, and on leadership for colleges as learning organizations. Conclusions may be particularly useful in government, board of governors, and administrative planning, design, and implementation of an organizational structure and leadership approach required for the development of a responsive and relevant college. In responding to this challenge, colleges have a chance to re-establish themselves as flexible, responsive organizations (Dennison, 1995).

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/791
Item ID: 791
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 207-211
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Organizational learning; Universities and colleges--Administration; College administrators--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes

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