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The Ivory Tower, Case Study Example

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Case Study

Even thought the management thought they had communicated the change plans effectively to the university faculty and the students, Jennifer and Peter correctly pointed out that such was not the case. Peter and Jennifer recommended that the university needs to involve the faculty and the students in the change plan to increase their stake in the success of the program and also take steps to keep them updated of the progress. But even Jennifer and Peter failed to realize some other steps that would not only increase the participation of the faculty and the students but will also ensure the success of the overall program.

First of all, the stakeholders should not only be involved in the planning process but also be known where there recommendations have been incorporated and how their feedback is shaping the overall change program. The stakeholders may also lose motivation if they realize that their participation is just a formality and their ideas are being ignored on the most part. Second, the university needs to find out how the stakeholders like to communicate and use those communication channels to reach the maximum number of people. When Jennifer inquired about faculty and students having email IDs, Peter did confirm that all the stakeholders have been given email IDs but his response also seemed to suggest that email is not commonly used by most stakeholders for communication. Thus, the stakeholders should be surveyed to find out their preferable sources of communication which could be university newspaper or online announcement boards.

The university also needs to inform the stakeholders as to how they would benefit from the change program. For the stakeholders to be truly committed to the change program, they would like to know what is in it for them. The benefits could be greater research funds, higher salaries, greater job security, and more democratic management of the university. This is because the change initiatives are expected to make university more competitive and attract a greater number of students which in turn will yield greater financial resources as well. The university’s operations are also expected to become more efficient, resulting in cost savings and the interaction between the management and the faculty/students would likely improve. The university’s management should also announce incentives which may be dependent upon the progress and the successful achievement of different objectives. These incentives could include low tuition/fees, online courses, student exchange programs with other universities, and rewarding a portion of the cost savings to the faculty as bonuses.

One another thing Peter and Jennifer may benefit from is to survey the faculty and students as to what are their priorities. Even though Peter speculates that they want more research funding, autonomy in their research projects, and more professional accomplishments, it is possible that the management’s perceptions of faculty’s and students’ priorities may be wrong just as they wrongly assumed they were properly communicating the project information to the stakeholders. Peter admits that the communication between the management and the faculty/student has been minimal. It is possible that the management’s perceptions are correct but it will be better to ensure. This is because incentive programs only work when they are related to the priorities of the stakeholders. If the stakeholders do not value the incentives being offered to them, such an incentive program will fail to motivate them and strengthen their commitment to the success of the program.

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