Please note: This blog post is a course related assessment for the Master of Arts in Learning and Technology program at Royal Roads University.
Assignment two of LRNT 525: Leading Change in Digital Learning tasked students to use their learning network to reach out to colleagues to discuss their experience with change management. As an approach to garner authentic responses, I decided to use a combination of Twitter to promote the communication to my colleagues and Google Forms to capture the data anonymously.
Participants were provided with a definition of change management provided by the Society for Human Resource Management (n.d.)
Change management is the systematic approach and application of knowledge, tools and resources to deal with change. It involves defining and adopting corporate strategies, structures, procedures and technologies to handle changes in external conditions and the business environment. (para. 2)
I used the sample questions provided within Activity two, which included:
- Can you provide an example of an organizational change related to digital learning that was successfully implemented?
- What role did leadership play and what were some important steps that a leader or leaders took within the process?
- What challenges did they (or you) need to overcome?
I received a total of seven responses to the survey, with digital change management occurring in Learning Management Systems, The incorporation of digital training for employees, Open Educational Resource adoption and implementing a new project management system. Unfortunately, one of the respondents has yet to experience a successful digital organizational change.
The infographic below highlights a summary of each individual’s responses. The results uncovered two common themes that appeared within several responses. Employee buy-in to the change and stakeholder consultation throughout the change management process.
Based on the survey responses, a key challenge faced in implementing all new digital technologies was ensuring employees saw the value in the change. Weiner (2009) states that “Organizational readiness for change varies as a function of how much organizational members value the change and how favorably they appraise three key determinants of implementation capability: task demands, resource availability, and situational factors” (p. 1). Resource availability was a prominent issue in regards to the respondents incorporating a new Project Management System and Learning Management System. The participants suggested that the increased time to update the Project Management System was hard to justify for some management members and employees, while the time, training and technical requirements for the use of the Learning Management System caused resistance from faculty. Individuals commit to organizational change for a variety of reasons, including their perceived value of the change and institutional mandates (Weiner, 2009). Through digital leadership, institutions can move away from mandates and directives and create an environment where employees feel supported and empowered to be part of the change process (Sheninger, 2014).
Post-secondary education is evolving, due to the advancements in technology and a push for open education (Duderstat, as cited in Khan, 2017). The survey participants who work in post-secondary education, focusing on Learning Management Systems and Open Educational Resources discussed as the change management occurs, consulting and communicating with stakeholders is an important part of the process. Leaders innovating new changes now have the digital tools to provide two-way communication and engage stakeholders with up-to-date progress reports (Sheninger, 2014) and gather feedback throughout the project lifecycle.
Change Management in Digital Environments Infographic
The following infographic provides a summary of the seven responses I received through my successful examples of change management survey.
Khan, N. (2017). Adaptive or Transactional Leadership in Current Higher Education: A Brief Comparison. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(3).
Sheninger, E. (2014). Pillars of digital leadership. International Centre for Leadership in Education.
Society for Human Resource Management. (n.d.). Managing Organizational Change. Retrieved February 21, 2019, from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/managingorganizationalchange.aspx
Weiner, B. J. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Science, 4(67).