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Educational Change and Behavioral Repertoire: A Case Study of Competing Values Leadership in a School of Medicine

Buer, Troy
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Buer, Troy
Pusser, Brian
Deutsch, Nancy
Breneman, David
Hostler, Sharon
Medical schools have been challenged to transform a century old model of medical education to better prepare future physicians for an increasingly complex patient care environment. Transformational curricular change demands strong leadership. Yet, medical schools often rely upon individuals with little to no leadership experience to direct the creation and implementation of new curricula. Faculty members have spent years training to become expert researchers and clinicians and yet many lack the knowledge, skills, and experiences to lead educational change. Using the Competing Values Framework as the conceptual model, this case study examined the leadership of course directors charged with implementing transformative curricular changes in the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Three research questions guided this study of competing values leadership and educational change: (1) Were any competing values leadership behaviors perceived to aid faculty in leading a transformational curricular change in a School of Medicine?; (2) Which competing values leadership behaviors, if any, were perceived to: (a) promote the educational change process or (b) impede the educational change process?; (3) In what ways, if any, do the competing values leadership profiles (i.e. behavioral repertoire) of systems leaders in high or low-rated systems differ, as indicated by course evaluation data? Data were collected from semi-structured interviews with 23 faculty and staff involved with the curriculum change. The results suggest that change agents must embrace the paradoxes of leadership and integrate seemingly contradictory actions to create new leadership behaviors. Integrative leadership behaviors such as pragmatic creativity and dynamic mentoring will help faculty members uncover innovative solutions to resolve the challenges of educational change. The results of this research can provide a useful framework to guide the preparation of leaders who are committed to transforming education programs.
University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, PHD, 2013
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