Change is a constant presence within today’s higher education institutions. Local faculty professional development opportunities may provide avenues for enacting these organizational changes through personal continuous improvement. While working to meet these organizational priorities, it is also essential that professional development must provide opportunities for individual growth. Combining systems thinking and social learning theories may provide solutions for meaningful faculty development that also meets identified organizational priorities. This article will describe the creation of a conceptual framework that utilizes systems thinking and change in combination with social learning theories that may be employed to encourage meaningful development engagements for faculty in order to lead change in higher education institutions. In addition to defining each component of the framework, suggestions for intervention strategies, change strategies and design considerations are also offered. Action planning pages provided within the framework will help practitioners make decisions regarding their own individual higher education settings.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
Baron, L. (2005). The advantages of a reciprocal relationship between faculty development and organizational development in higher education. In S. Chadwick-Blossey & D. Robertson (Eds.), To improve the academy: Resources for faculty, instructional, and organizational development (Vol. 24, pp. 147–165). Bolton: Anker.
Boland, R., & Tenkasi, R. (1995). Perspective making and perspective taking in communities of knowing. Organization Science, 6(4), 350–372 Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2634993.
Bolton, G. (2014). Reflective practice: Writing and professional development. Los Angeles: Sage.
Bond, M. A., & Lockee, B. B. (2014). Building virtual communities of practice for distance educators. New York: Springer.
Bond, M. A., & Lockee, B. B. (2018). Evaluating the effectiveness of faculty inquiry groups (FIGs) as communities of practice for faculty professional development. Journal of Formative Design in Learning., 2, 1. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41686-018-0015-7.
Booth, S. E. (2012). Cultivating knowledge sharing and trust in online communities for educators. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 47(1), 1–31.
Brown, S. (2013). Large-scale innovation and change in UK higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 21.
Brown, J. S., & Duguid, P. (2001). Knowledge and organization: A social-practice perspective. Organization Science, 12(2), 198–213.
Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42.
Cabrera, D., Cabrera, L., & Powers, E. (2015). A unifying theory of systems thinking with psychosocial applications. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 32(5), 534–545 https://doi-org.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu/10.1002/sres.2351.
Collins, A. (2006). Cognitive apprenticeship. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cox, M. D. (2004). Introduction to faculty learning communities. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2004(97), 5–23. https://doi.org/10.1002/tl.129.
Darwin, A., & Palmer, E. (2009). Mentoring circles ffin higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 28(2), 125–136.
Dashborough, M., Lamb, P., & Suseno, Y. (2015). Understanding emotions in higher education change management. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 28(4), 579–590. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-11-2013-0235.
Driscoll, L., Parkes, K. A., Tilley-Lubbs, G. A., Brill, J. M., & Pitts Bannister, V. R. (2009). Navigating the lonely sea: Peer mentoring and collaboration among aspiring women scholars. Mentoring & Tutoring for Partnership in Learning, 17(1), 5–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/13611260802699532.
Eib, B. J., & Miller, P. (2006). Faculty development as community building - an approach to professional development that supports communities of practice for online teaching. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v7i2.299.
Gillespie, K. J. (2010). Organizational development. In K. J. Gillespie & D. L. Robertson (Eds.), A guide to Faculty Development (379-396). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Gioia, D. A., & Thomas, J. B. (1996). Identity, image, and issue interpretation: Sensemaking during strategic change in academia. Administrative Science Quarterly, 370–403.
Gray, B. (2004). Informal learning in an online community of practice. Journal of Distance Education, 19(1), 20.
Jonassen, D., Cernusca, D., & Ionas, G. (2007). Constructivism and instructional design: The emergence of the learning sciences and design research. Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology, 2, 45–52.
Kerawalla, L., Minocha, S., Kirkup, G., & Conole, G. (2009). An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging in higher education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(1), 31–42.
Kezar, A., & Eckel, P. (2002). Examining the institutional transformation process: The importance of sensemaking, interrelated strategies, and balance. Research in Higher Education, 43(3), 295–328 Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu/stable/40196456.
Kezar, A. (2001). Understanding and facilitating organizational change in the 21st Century: Recent research and conceptualizations. Washington, DC: ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports.
Kezar, A., Gehrke, S., & Bernstein-Sierra, S. (2018). Communities of transformation: Creating changes to deeply entrenched issues. The Journal of Higher Education, 89(6), 832–864. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2018.1441108.
Knowles, M. (1950). Informal adult education. Chicago: Association Press.
Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. Amsterdam: ElStephany Michelle Akerssevier.
Kolb, D. Fry (1975). Toward an applied theory of experiential learning. Theories of group process. London: John Wiley.
Kowch, E. G. (2005). Do we plan the journey or read the compass? An argument for preparing educational technologists to lead organisational change. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36, 1067–1070. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2005.00577.x.
Kowch, E. (2016). Surviving the next generation of organizations—As leaders. In N. Rushby & D. W. Surry (Eds.), The Wiley handbook of learning technology (pp. 484–507). Hoboken: Wiley.
Kram, K. E. (1983). Phases of the mentor relationship. Academy of Management Journal, 26, 608–625.
Kram, K. E. (1985). Mentoring at work: Developmental relationships in organizational life. Glenview: Scott, Foresman.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Marshall, S. (2010). Change, technology and higher education: Are universities capable of organisational change? ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 18(3), 179–192.
Micomonaco, J. P. & Austin, A. E.. (2010). Examining Inter-Institutional Learning Communities: The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning as a Collaboration for Institutional Learning. 01/01/2010–12/31/2010, Paper at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Indianapolis: November 18, 2010.
Ormrod, J. E. (2008). Educational psychology: Developing learners (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace: Effective strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Raabe, B., & Beehr, T. A. (2003). Formal mentoring versus supervisor and coworker relationships: Differences in perceptions and impact. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 24(3), 271–293.
Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in the social context. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sawyer, R. K. (2006). Introduction: The new science of learning. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Senge, P. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Crown Business.
Steinert, Y. (2010). Faculty development: From workshops to communities of practice. Medical Teacher, 32(5), 425–428. https://doi.org/10.3109/01421591003677897.
Stroh, D. P. (2015). Systems thinking for social change: A practical guide to solving complex problems, avoiding unintended consequences, and achieving lasting results. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing.
Suthers, D. D. (2006). A qualitative analysis of collaborative knowledge construction through shared representations. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 1(02), 115–142.
Thomas, D. A. (1993). Racial dynamics in cross-race developmental relationships. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38, 169–194.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Watland, K. H., Hallenbeck, S. M., & Kresse, W. J. (2008). Breaking bread and breaking boundaries: A case study on increasing organizational learning opportunities and fostering communities of practice through sharing meals in an academic program. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 20(3–4), 167–184. https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.20009.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Wenger, E., McDermott, R. A., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Wildman, T., Hable, M., Preston, M., & Magliaro, S. (2000). Faculty student groups: Solving “good problems” through study, reflection, and collaboration. Innovative Higher Education, 24, 247–263.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Bond, M.A., Blevins, S.J. Using Faculty Professional Development to Foster Organizational Change: a Social Learning Framework. TechTrends 64, 229–237 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-019-00459-2
- Professional development
- Organizational change
- Higher education
- Systemic change
- Social learning