Advancing Scholarly Communications Innovations among the Campus Community: A Change Model
Institutional Repository Document
Widespread adoption of open access and open educational resources among the academic community requires significant shifts in the practices of teaching, scholarship and publication. Both university libraries and student governments can be powerful champions and change agents to support new practices that address open access. For instance, the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) has been a strong proponent of both free, online access to research articles and Open Educational Resourcespromoting these issues at the campus, state, and national levels through their more than 90-member graduate student governments. Yet programs that seek to support transformational change in higher education are often unsuccessful. As Kezar and Eckel (2002) write Transformational change is unfamiliar to most higher education institutions; it (a) alters the culture of the institution by changing select underlying assumptions and institutional behaviors, processes, and products; (b) is deep and pervasive, affecting the whole institution; (c) is intentional; and (d) occurs over time. In a longitudinal study of organizational change at 25 higher educational institutions, Kezar and Eckel (2002) found that five core strategies (were) common across (successful) institutions were identified: senior administrative support; collaborative leadership; systemic, iterative design; professional development; and visible action. Strategies occurred simultaneously or in clusters rather than sequentially, as presented in the higher education change literature. What made these five strategies so powerful was their ability to help individuals conceptualize a new identity, to feel worthwhile about their efforts, and to be brought along with the institutional agendawhat is labeled sensemaking. Sensemaking is the reciprocal process where people seek information, assign it meaning, and act. It is the collective process of structuring meaningful sense out of uncertain and ambiguous organizational situations. Sensemaking allows people to craft, understand, and accept new conceptualizations of the organization and then to act in ways consistent with those new interpretations and perceptions. Visible action is important because it demonstrates the outcomes of all the hard work, reinforcing the new sense made during the change process. Sensemaking was the underlying characteristic that made these strategies essential.