Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




employee engagement, adaptive leadership, servant leadership, change, leadership capacity, higher education


The low levels of employee engagement at a school within a Higher Education Institution is the Problem of Practice (PoP) addressed in this Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP). The results of an employee engagement survey revealed that faculty and staff yearn for feedback, mentoring, and recognition from their academic managers. The survey also indicated that academic managers lack the necessary skills and time to coach and mentor their direct reports. The principles of interpretive theory, coupled with adaptive and servant leadership are foundational elements of this OIP, and are leveraged to help address the PoP. Studies have shown that the quality of the relationship between leaders and their followers is an important antecedent of employee engagement. The latter is defined as the intellectual and emotional commitment to one’s organization which results in discretionary efforts and exhibition of passion for work in the workplace. As such, a leadership development framework is proposed to build leadership capacity of the academic managers. A combination of the Change Path Model and the Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle will guide the implementation of this change in the organization. Once implemented, it is anticipated that the outcomes of this OIP will go beyond enhancing the levels of employee engagement. Arguably, engaged faculty are known to motivate their students, offer them timely feedback, and contribute to their success. The research and recommendations brought forward by this OIP can be adapted and adopted at other schools within the organization, or at other Higher Education Institutions.