Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict (Print ISSN: 1544-0508; Online ISSN: 1939-4691 )


Kotter's change model in higher education: transforming siloed education to a culture of interprofessionalism.

Author(s): Jan Odiaga, Mary Jo Guglielmo, Cathy Catrambone, Theresa Gierlowski, Chris Bruti, Lynette Richter, Joanne Miller

Culture transformation of an academic medical center, with its “siloed” education and hierarchal structure, is a difficult and slow process. The application of Kotter’s accelerated (XLR8) business change model transformed a siloed academic organization’s culture to one of interprofessionalism. Pressed to effect rapid and sustainable change in an academic medical center, the strategies from the XLR8 model were applied to the hierarchal culture. All the accelerators of the XLR8 model were consciously applied to the change process. Institutional cultural change was validated when: development of an Interprofessional Education (IPE) curriculum was chosen and approved as a quality improvement initiative for accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission; leadership (President and Provosts) funded an office of Interprofessional Education including faculty and support personnel work effort resulting in a year-long IPE course; IPE included in University vision, mission, and strategic plan; unification of four colleges; designated time reserved for IPE; IPE required for graduation, and appears on student transcripts. Kotter’s accelerated model of change is an effective method to remove barriers to educational cultural change. Using Kotter’s change theory model as an infrastructure for change, a large Midwest academic medical center advanced the culture of interprofessionalism, via the development of an IPE curriculum embedded within the University. Kotter’s business model was successfully implemented in a hierarchal academic medical center and other educational institutions with similar cultural structures would likely have success using this change strategy, if the change agents have a clear and deep understanding of the organizational culture. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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