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Sustainability Education and Organizational Change: A Critical Case Study of Barriers and Change Drivers at a Higher Education Institution

Author

Listed:
  • Edwin E. Akins

    () (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA)

  • Elizabeth Giddens

    () (Department of English, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA)

  • David Glassmeyer

    () (Department of Secondary and Middle Grades Education, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA)

  • Amy Gruss

    () (Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA)

  • Maria Kalamas Hedden

    () (Department of Marketing and Professional Sales, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA)

  • Vanessa Slinger-Friedman

    () (Department of Geography and Anthropology, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA)

  • Matthew Weand

    () (Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA)

Abstract

Integrating sustainability within institutions of higher education can have a tremendous impact on students, faculty, and the larger community. Sustainability efforts also experience many barriers to implementation within higher education contexts. A change management perspective can help characterize these barriers and ways to overcome them. In this critical case study, we use a process model to examine the kinds of barriers Kennesaw State University (KSU) has faced regarding implementation of academic sustainability and to evaluate change drivers that can advance sustainability during a time of leadership change. The process model evaluates barriers and change drivers according to published frameworks, and provides a way for higher education institutions to identify the most difficult barriers, easily surmountable barriers, and areas where change drivers can have the most impact. At KSU, the process model identified the self-determination of middle-tier change drivers as the most important way to advance sustainable development in higher education institutions (SD in HEI) until new leadership emerges. The process model is iterative and modifiable, because the specific frameworks used in the process model may vary depending upon the needs of each HEI and stage of progression toward SD.

Suggested Citation

  • Edwin E. Akins & Elizabeth Giddens & David Glassmeyer & Amy Gruss & Maria Kalamas Hedden & Vanessa Slinger-Friedman & Matthew Weand, 2019. "Sustainability Education and Organizational Change: A Critical Case Study of Barriers and Change Drivers at a Higher Education Institution," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:2:p:501-:d:198975
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martina Blašková & Justyna Majchrzak-Lepczyk & Dominika Hriníková & Rudolf Blaško, 2019. "Sustainable Academic Motivation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(21), pages 1-24, October.
    2. Göran Finnveden & Julie Newman & Leendert A. Verhoef, 2019. "Sustainable Development and Higher Education: Acting with a Purpose," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(14), pages 1-4, July.
    3. Tajammal Hussain & Jacob Eskildsen & Rick Edgeman & Muhammad Ismail & Alaa Mohamd Shoukry & Showkat Gani, 2019. "Imperatives of Sustainable University Excellence: A Conceptual Framework," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-21, September.
    4. Muhammad Noman Malik & Huma Hayat Khan & Abdoulmohammad Gholamzadeh Chofreh & Feybi Ariani Goni & Jiří Jaromír Klemeš & Youseef Alotaibi, 2019. "Investigating Students’ Sustainability Awareness and the Curriculum of Technology Education in Pakistan," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(9), pages 1-18, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    barriers to change; change drivers; critical case study; education for sustainability (EfS); faculty empowerment; higher education institutions; organizational change; sustainable development in higher education institutions (SD in HEI);

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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