Graduate School of Business
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
James G. Ibe
leadership, adaptability, complexity, complex adaptive systems, dynamic environments, higher education
Business | Leadership Studies
Niemeyer Rens, Rebecca, "Leadership Adaptability Within the Higher Education Industry" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3371.
Dynamism in the higher education industry (HEI) has created unprecedented complexity and uncertainty for leaders at colleges and universities across the globe. The challenges to competitive advantage and sustainability created by dynamic conditions have been exacerbated and accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and health crisis. HEI leaders are struggling to adapt antiquated and traditionally held methods and practices to navigate the rapid changes and survive the resulting chaos. The ability of leaders to adapt to dynamism in contemporary industry conditions is influenced by the external and internal environments; in term, these leaders’ capacity for change impacts the adaptability of the institutions they serve. By recognizing their organizations as complex adaptive systems and employing practices that enhance communication, remain consistent with core values, and exhibit a strong commitment to their members, senior- and mid-level leaders at small private liberal arts colleges and universities are engaging in adaptive behaviors and creating adaptive organizations better equipped to thrive despite challenges.