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.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Akins, Edwin E. II; Giddens, Elizabeth; Glassmeyer, David; and Gruss, Amy, "Sustainability Education and Organizational Change: A Critical Case Study of Barriers and Change Drivers at a Higher Education Institution" (2019). Faculty Publications. 4555.