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Open AccessArticle

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

1
Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
2
Department of English, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
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Department of Secondary and Middle Grades Education, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
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Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
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Department of Marketing and Professional Sales, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
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Department of Geography and Anthropology, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
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Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020501
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 1 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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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. View Full-Text
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) 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)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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E. Akins, E., II; Giddens, E.; Glassmeyer, D.; Gruss, A.; Kalamas Hedden, M.; Slinger-Friedman, V.; Weand, M. Sustainability Education and Organizational Change: A Critical Case Study of Barriers and Change Drivers at a Higher Education Institution. Sustainability 2019, 11, 501.

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