Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




strategic planning, higher education, relational leadership, distributed leadership, stakeholders, engagement


This organizational improvement plan (OIP) stems from the need for a clearly defined plan to guide initiatives to be implemented in the School of X. Strategic planning is instrumental in higher education (HE) settings and is critical in framing the values, missions, and goals of postsecondary institutions. Engaging stakeholders in meaningful and purposeful ways will help to create a clear direction for the School of X. Exploring the organization’s readiness for change and examining solutions for the identified problem of practice (PoP) frames the basis of the OIP. To evaluate the best strategy for the change process and to achieve the goals of the OIP, multiple approaches to address the PoP are evaluated and discussed. Relational and distributed leadership are integrated throughout the OIP with Kotter’s (1996) model of change supporting the process. The underpinnings of a humanistic approach to change permeates all portions of the OIP, which complements the relational and distributed leadership styles also integrated throughout the plan. Intertwining a systems theory approach to the overall process is important because the School of X is an integral part of the college. The framework integrated in the OIP is Nadler and Tushman’s (1980) congruence model, which complements Kotter’s (1996) model for leading change. When the OIP is implemented in the HE setting, it is anticipated that the faculty and staff of the School of X and community partners will collectively work on the identified initiatives, which will contribute to successful outcomes for students and the academic HEI.