1st Edition

Positioning Student Affairs for Sustainable Change Achieving Organizational Effectiveness Through Multiple Perspectives

    At a time of increasing student diversity, concern about security, demand for greater accountability, and of economic difficulty, what does the future hold for higher education, and how can student affairs organizations adapt to the increasing and changing demands? How can university leaders position existing resources to effectively address these and other emerging challenges with a sense of opportunity rather than dread? How can organizations be redesigned to sustain change while achieving excellence?As student affairs organizations have grown and become increasingly complex in order to meet new demands, they have often emphasized the expansion of their missions to the detriment of focusing on understanding their roles in relationship to other units, to reviewing their cultures and structures, and to considering how they can improve their effectiveness as organizations. This book provides the tools for organizational analysis and sustainability.Intended for practitioners, graduate students, interns and student affairs leaders, this book presents the key ideas and concepts from business-oriented organizational behavior and change theories, and demonstrates how they can be useful in, and be applied to, student affairs practice – and, in particular, how readers can use these theories to sustain change and enhance their organization’s ability to adapt to complex emerging challenges. At the same time it holds to values and perspectives that support the human dimension of organizational life.Recognizing the complexity of today’s organizations and the value of viewing them from multiple perspectives, this book follows the emerging practice of providing three general epistemological perspectives – the Positivist, Social Constructionist, and Postmodernist – for analyzing often paradoxical organizational structures, environments, and behavior.The book explores the environmental context of student affairs, and how the organization interacts with both the internal and external environments; examines the human dimension of organizations, through a review of individual attributes, human need and motivation, social comparison theory and organizational learning theory; presents the dimensions of structure and design theory and discusses why student affairs organizations need to think differently about how they organize their resources; considers the context and process of organizational change, and the dynamics of decision making, power, conflict and communication; addresses the role of assessment and evaluation; and new forms of leadership.Each chapter opens with a case study, and closes with a set of reflective questions.The authors have all served as practitioners within student affairs and now teach and advise graduate students and future leaders in the field.

    Acknowledgments Preface 1. The Student Affairs Organization as Context 2. Seeing Student Affairs Organizations through the Lens of Organizational Theory 3. The Organization. Environment Perspective 4. Individual and Team Dimensions within Student Affairs Organizations 5. Structure and Design of Student Affairs Organizations 6. Organizational Process and Change Theory 7. Ecological Scanning. An Approach to Student Affairs Organizational Assessment 8. Securing Leadership for Organizational Fit- Not the Other Way Around 9. Navigating the Future for Student Affairs Organizations About the Authors Index


    Linda Kuk, James H. Banning, Marilyn J. Amey