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Bridging the Gap: 
Leadership, Technology, and Organizational Change for Deans and Department Chairs

Edited by Michael J. Johnson, Donald E. Hanna, and Don Olcott, Jr.

When we think of leadership – in academe or elsewhere – we tend to envision it coming either from the very top or from the grassroots level. But as the authors write in Bridging the Gap, “the most important leadership in the academy emanates from the center” – that is, from you and your colleagues who serve as the chairpersons of academic departments or the deans of academic divisions. “Deans and chairpersons seldom get the glory and the press,” the authors note, “but they and their units are the heart and soul of the modern college and university.”

As a dean or chair, you have an enormous responsibility – and opportunity – to lead dynamic change within your unit. But how do you do that without alienating your faculty colleagues and throwing out what’s already working? How do you mix the best of the old with the best of the new? The key is to simultaneously manage three interconnected dimensions of organizational change in the academic setting: leadership, technology, and culture.

Bridging the Gap shows you how to do just that – using a theoretical perspective in the early chapters followed by a unique practical approach in the later chapters that features the real-life experiences and advice of deans and chairpersons who were interviewed specifically for this book. You’ll learn about:

  • The forces that are placing pressure on universities to change.
  • The normative values and organizational characteristics of the academy, and how they either impede or facilitate change.
  • What these normative values and organizational characteristics will look like in the twenty-first-century university.
  • The roles you’ll play as a dean or chairperson in facilitating change in an environment of global markets, unprecedented competition, rapid technological advances, increasingly selective consumers, changing faculty roles, and a society that wants its college graduates to have “real-world” work skills.

 As an academic leader, the authors write, you “must find ways to merge historic traditions with new ideas and, in the process, lead us toward a new era for the teaching and learning institution.” Bridging the Gap will be the start of your journey toward thoughtful, effective change.

Bridging the Gap

ISBN# 1-891859-48-X
176 Pages
Product # 155

$29.95


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