Educational Change and Behavioral Repertoire: A Case Study of Competing Values Leadership in a School of Medicine

Buer, Troy, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Pusser, Brian, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Breneman, David, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Deutsch, Nancy, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Hostler, Sharon, Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia

Medical schools have been challenged to transform a century old model of medical education to better prepare future physicians for an increasingly complex patient care environment. Transformational curricular change demands strong leadership. Yet, medical schools often rely upon individuals with little to no leadership experience to direct the creation and implementation of new curricula. Faculty members have spent years training to
become expert researchers and clinicians and yet many lack the knowledge, skills, and experiences to lead educational change. Using the Competing Values Framework as the conceptual model, this case study examined the leadership of course directors charged with implementing transformative curricular changes in the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Three research questions guided this study of competing values leadership and
educational change: (1) Were any competing values leadership behaviors perceived to aid faculty in leading a transformational curricular change in a School of Medicine?; (2) Which competing values leadership behaviors, if any, were perceived to: (a) promote the educational change process or (b) impede the educational change process?; (3) In what ways, if any, do the competing values leadership profiles (i.e. behavioral repertoire) of systems leaders in high
or low-rated systems differ, as indicated by course evaluation data?

Data were collected from semi-structured interviews with 23 faculty and staff
involved with the curriculum change. The results suggest that change agents must embrace the paradoxes of leadership and integrate seemingly contradictory actions to create new leadership behaviors. Integrative leadership behaviors such as pragmatic creativity and dynamic mentoring will help faculty members uncover innovative solutions to resolve the
challenges of educational change. The results of this research can provide a useful framework to guide the preparation of leaders who are committed to transforming education programs.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
competing values leadership, medicine, medical education, change, behavior, leadership
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