Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Applied Research, Faculty, Colleges', Continuous Improvement, Leadership, Change


The purpose of this Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) is to assist leaders in Ontario colleges in understanding the barriers and challenges of engaging faculty to enact applied research practices. Undergirding this OIP is social cognition theory and the analytical discipline of improvement science theory. Taken together, these theories align with systems thinking and are a step towards a holistic understanding of the dynamics of a college learning culture. Underpinned by a set of simple principles including improving through communication, learning through collaboration, and changing through coordination, a continuous improvement (CI) leadership approach, which combines servant (Greenleaf, 1977), team (Kogler Hill, 2019), and adaptive (Heifetz & Linsky, 2002) attributes, is utilized to address this problem of practice. To lead the change process, the CI leadership approach provides positive opportunities to engage with faculty by building relationships, social capital and professional capital, for deeper and more lasting change. The premise of this OIP is that developing a network improvement committee is an opportunity to engage, accelerate learning, and develop relationships with faculty. This OIP’s change management, implementation, and communication plan takes an action-research and ethics-based approach. Different perspectives inform this approach, including Lewin’s (1947) 3-Step Change Process and the Carnegie Foundation’s Six Core Principles of Improvement Framework (Bryk, 2015). Once implemented, it is anticipated that the outcomes of this OIP will contribute to a common language for applied research that increases the likelihood of influencing faculty engagement. Stronger linkages between teaching and applied research are consistent with continuous improvement in learning and collective accountability to meet the expectations of a competitive global market, strategically aligned with economic and community impact priorities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License