Considering this, when evaluating programs such as Read 180 one must remember it is important not to consider change from an "outsider looking in" standpoint, but rather enmesh themselves in the change process to decide what factors lead to successful change, and which do not. If members of the community, or administrative bodies, look at programs that would manage change from the "periphery" as the previous researchers suggest, then one can only assume that change will not succeed, but rather is destined for failure. One must instead look at change as a member of the change unit, as a member of the "family" as described by the theorists and conceptual researchers promoting the idea of change as something that can occur in an environment that fosters a familial approach to change and successful change management.
Common Elements Among Theorists & Leaders Approach to Change
Most common among all theorists reviewed with respect to change management in the educational or in any environment are the following concepts. First, change is inevitable, and something that is constantly driven through various means including through technological innovation (Greenwood, Suddaby & Hinings, 2002). This means for programs in change to work, organizational leaders as well as those directly impacted by change must accept change as something ordinary, rather than something extraordinary or something that will inevitably lead to a chaotic environment. On evaluating the theories presented in this paper, the researcher can clearly see a pattern suggesting change management is best handled when leaders and communities immerse themselves in change rather than stand on the periphery of change, and distinguish between those that follow "mainstream" vs. non-mainstream practices. In an environment where change is ever-present, one must acknowledge that change is not something unusual, but rather something that is ordinary and to be expected.
Elaborating on this theory, most authors and theorists suggest theories most likely to succeed among tired teachers or administrators constantly bombarded by demands for change are theories that do not dictate change, but rather, theories that present change in a way that prepare administrators and teachers for change by integrating them and involving them in the change process. Along these lines, one must assume that for educational facilities to be successful, they must ask tired faculty members to participate actively in change management. This can be done through various means. Faculty members for example, may provide discourse on what elements of change they feel are most effective, and which require further exploration.
This suggests studies of change implementation should be conducted that allow faculty and students ample opportunity to evaluate the effects of change in a positive light. Even when unfavorable circumstances are evident, members of the change organization have the opportunity to present these disadvantages in a non-threatening manner (Carson-Stern, et al., 2004; Eckel & Kezar, 2002). What happens when faculty and other members of the community contribute to evaluation? What happens is strategic management processes, where change occurs under the theoretical paradigm of cultural integrity. Organizations move toward creating organizations where strategic management views change in the way a family firm would approach change (Chrisman, Chua & Sharman, 2005).
While not all of the authors surveyed used the terms "familial management theory" to describe change management, most did mention the possibilities that could occur within educational institutions when members of each educational team became members of a family. This suggests all teachers, faculty, administrative staff, students, family members and even community members must view each other as part of the same team, a team working toward enlightening each other and facilitating change in a positive direction.
Another common element presented early in the research is the need for continuous training. While most faculty members, especially teachers, may feel tired with the constant pressure for continuing education, they may view change in a more positive light if the benefits of continuing education are highlighted to them in a way that presents change management as something beneficial to them personally, as well as to the organization and students as a whole (Reeve, 2006). Most times, continuous education programs or programs that help teachers and other faculty integrate change; focus too much on the benefits of change to the organization, or to individuals including students. While student achievement is certainly an important issue among those cultivating change, it is also important to recognize the need for faculty including teachers to see what benefits they will reap from continuing education.
Continuing education is something for example, that takes additional resources and time. However, if conducted in an upbeat and self-directed manner, tired faculty may be more willing to embrace further education because they can begin to realize how their education will eventually lead to greater involvement of all members of their family, and how continuous education will make implementing new programs much easier and streamlined than if education were ignored or handled incorrectly (Carson-Stern, et al., 2004).
Strategies Most Likely to Be Successful for Leadership
With respect to educational leadership and managing change in any environment, but especially within educational institutions, change is most likely to be successful when educational institutions incorporate change as part of a new culture. This new culture must provide ample opportunity for faculty to learn new measures in a self-directed manner, one that allows them to view change in a positive light. They must be able to assess how change benefits their students, but also how change is likely to make life easier, instead of more frustrating for them in the long-term.
Further, the theoretical concept that change management must occur in the context of a "family unit" is most likely to succeed, especially when evaluating programs like the Read 180 program. Programs like this inevitably encourage faculty, community members, family members and students to view change management in the context of the greater community. When each member involved in the change processed has the opportunity to provide their own insights and recommendations or evaluations of change, there is a greater chance members will remain focused on positive change management for the long-term.
Critical to the success of these theories or paradigms for success is the idea that faculty will receive support from institutional leaders, community leaders and family leaders (Carson-Stern, et al., 2004). Further, there must be strong evidence that change is working in a positive light. The only way to evaluate this is to test students to assess whether they realize positive outcomes from change. However, it is not enough to evaluate students alone. Educational authorities must also evaluate teachers and other members of the "family" unit, to see whether change has a negative, positive or neutral impact on them. This aligns with the concept of a familial framework or paradigm for change and implementation of new programs in any environment, but most importantly in the educational context.
All of the theories evaluated present advantages and disadvantages, but mostly, the advantages and commonalities shared by the theorists evaluated are evident. That change will occur is unquestionable. That all members of the organization must embrace each other as change occurs is evident. That education and continuous support and feedback are necessary are also evident based on the research and authors evaluated for this report.
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