Influential External Forces

After you have completed the reading, and without reviewing your classmates’ responses, post your initial response to the discussion. Your post should be at least 300 words in length and should be supported by your course materials and/or other appropriate resources. You may not be able to address all the questions and respond to your classmates in a single post. You will need to plan to return to the discussion several times during the week to discuss the questions. Your grade for the discussion comprises both original postings and your contributions through replies. Refer to your Discussion Rubric in Course Resources for specific grading explanation.

Topic: Influential External Forces

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Manning (2018) noted that mature organizations are notorious for being slow in their response to change. Their structure is concrete, and some would describe it as “fossilized, with less room for quick modifications or novel innovation.” In today’s ever-changing world, however, there is an expectation for higher education to respond quickly to socioeconomic changes, workforce developments, and new technological advancements. These expectations come from an expanding array of constituents, including students, advisory boards, employers, accrediting bodies, and governmental entities, to name a few.

But in an era when higher education is concerned with dwindling resources, how can an organization be both highly responsive and “fossilized”? How can an organizational leader respond to such a paradox?

This unit’s discussion will give you the opportunity to delve further into this apparent paradox and will set the stage for later explorations of how colleges actually work. Please respond to the following questions:

Who are some of the major constituents served by today’s higher learning institutions?
Have you experienced working in an organization that is somehow fossilized?
How can institutions balance the paradox between declining fiscal resources and the increasing demands of the constituencies they serve? Do they have an obligation to do so? Why or why not?
Based on your response and experiences, what specific leadership skills are required to lead a paradoxical organization?

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