Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




scholarly activity, culture, faculty, instructors, polytechnic, transformational leadership, distributed leadership


This Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) proposes a leadership solution to develop a culture that embraces faculty scholarly activity at a large Canadian polytechnic institution. The recent advent of two baccalaureate degrees at this diploma-offering institute brought with it the provincial government stipulation that faculty teaching in degree programs must be continually engaged in scholarly activity. A previous unsuccessful implementation of this requirement addressed the functional, managerial aspects of conducting research, however faculty were unprepared for the cultural shift necessary to transform them from polytechnic instructors to scholarly polytechnic instructors. Though the requirement to research remains, early attempts at support have been abandoned, leaving degree faculty and their academic chairs adrift.

By creating a centralized institutional research hub and involving stakeholders in the process, material and informational supports would then help shift the scholarly culture towards acceptance and compliance. This OIP underscores the importance of following a prescribed change leadership process that considers both the strategic and cultural aspects of change (Bolman & Deal, 2013; Harris, 1996; Kezar, 2014; Martin, 1992: Prosci, 2016). It couches these ideas and proposals in consideration of the existing, predominant governance structure at the institute, one of transformational, distributed, and ethical leadership (Gaubatz & Ensminger, 2015; House, 1971; Kidder, 1995; Kotter, 2007; Northouse, 2016).

This OIP may be adapted to similar contexts at similar institutions, as well as to other change leadership problems where the tendency has been to focus on strategy rather than strategy + cultural change.

Keywords: scholarly activity, research, culture, faculty, instructors, polytechnic, problem of practice, transformational leadership, distributed leadership