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Why collaboration is so important in decision making in institutions of higher learning - Essay Example

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The broad question approached by this comprehensive essay is, “Why is collaboration important in institutions of higher learning?” This question can be broken down into manageable parts by asking:
An exploration of these questions provides a framework for understanding the…
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Why collaboration is so important in decision making in institutions of higher learning
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Download file to see previous pages It is interesting, for instance, to read Bennis (1959) from the late 1950s; he was speaking of a radical shift in thinking about leadership which we take for granted today. Likewise with Heifetz (1994); his earliest writings contain the seeds of ideas, the beginnings of investigation into a powerful theory on adaptive leadership. Interviews with these thinkers were sought out as primary sources for this essay in order to touch upon what they are saying outside the boundaries of their seminal works (Bielaszka-DuVerney, 2009; Brennan, 1998; Gary, 2005; Kezar, 2008). These two theorists’ ideas dovetail with each other to paint a picture of how leadership fits into the most collaborative “business” in existence: higher education.
Stakeholders, decision makers, and leaders in higher education come from all walks of life and all kinds of experiences. The second part of this paper explores the concept of “diversity” in depth, and attempts to define what diversity should mean to collaborative groups at institutions of higher learning. Gloria Ladson-Billings’ framework (2006; 2005; 2001; 1996) informs the discussion along with a multitude of others who have opinions on the subject. Both the idea of diversity and the various ways a collaborative group should approach it are fuzzy; encouraging surface diversity is not as effective as demanding deep diversity.
Finally, the role of new technologies in forming and maintaining collaborative groups is an important consideration. The third section of this essay touches upon ways Web 2.0 makes life easier (and harder) for groups, and defines some perhaps unfamiliar terms. Technology is automatically out of date when it is released, or a new cutting edge product comes along which seems like the answer to everyone’s prayers. I believe the current suites of collaborative tools are excellent in some ways ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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