Change champions for student recruitment : leader experiences in managing change for new technology adoption
Small, private, primarily undergraduate colleges and universities have been facing challenges in enrollment as number of traditional-aged college students declines and options for obtaining a degree expand. In response, schools often seek out and adopt new technology to improve their student recruitment functions. Existing research largely focuses on the technical aspects of adoption but does not provide much insight into the process of leading change itself. The purpose of this study was to understand the experience of higher education leaders in championing change through adoption of new technology for student recruitment. I interviewed 12 enrollment management leaders in higher education about their experiences guiding the technology adoption process on their campus. All participants were at small, private, primarily undergraduate institutions. This qualitative case study focused on the common phenomenon experienced by the participants -- being the champion for selecting and purchasing new technology. Early stages of change management (Kotter, 2012) served as the framework for my research. In addition, I relied on a secondary framework, Bolman and Deal's (2008) political frame, to provide further insight about the participants' experiences. Four themes emerged from the findings: identifying problems, impetus for change, involving others, and influence. This study concludes that managing change itself is a significant aspect of the process. Based on the findings I offer recommendations for practice and identify opportunities for further research.
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