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Peter Eckel and Adrianna Kezar have written this book to offer insight to campus leaders who face transformational changeto help them mount a proactive, rather than a reactive, process to effect transformation. They believe that most institutional leaders have little to no experience with implementing large-scale change and lack a solid literature base upon which to rely. Although some scholarship exists on the content of change or change outcomes and conditions, very little information is available concerning the process through which leaders must go to bring about changeand particularly transformational change. Based upon empirical data, this book offers practical, specific advice for leaders faced with attempting to implement deep and pervasive change.
Taking the Reins is based on the ACE Project on Leadership and Institutional Transformation, a five-year effort funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation involving 23 diverse institutions working on transformational change. This book focuses on a sub-set of six institutions that had made the most significant change at the end of five years. The key findings of the study include an identified set of core change strategies, the interrelationship among these strategies, the importance of helping people think differently, and the need for sensitivity to institutional culture. The authors formulate a coherent model, which they call the Mobile Model of Change. The mobile is used as a metaphor for the process of transformational change because it illustrates how the identified change strategies work together.
The audience for this book includes presidents and provosts, deans, and department chairs and faculty committee chairs, as well as other campus administrators. Other potential readers include higher education scholars and leadership development programs that incorporate modules on change management.