Implementing University Change: Intersections of Academic Policy and Institutional Culture

Leslie R. Zenk


Organizational culture is a key aspect for higher education leaders as they make decisions. This paper examines a policy change process at a large, research university using Bolman and Deal’s (2013) symbolic frame as a lens through which to examine aspects of the institution and the policy change process.  Results reveal that attention to stakeholders and stakeholder-tailored communication are important when implementing policy change, and institutional culture matters in whether that change is implemented successfully. The results of this study are useful for academic leaders, directors, administrators, faculty members, and other institutional members at colleges and universities who are engaged in innovative change efforts and policy implementation at their institution.



organizational theory, institutional culture, organizational culture, policy, leadership, decision making, higher education

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