Implementing change and innovation in the academic sector
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The use of projects for driving and implementing change and innovation in the academic sector is the overarching theme of this thesis. To begin with I will present some aspects of the organisation that is being studied. The recent history of the University College of Western Norway (HVL) is important for how it is structured and how the culture is developing. This history includes a merger, restructuring of all faculties and most administrative departments. With that background it is relevant to describe some of the different departments that are focal to this thesis. Also presented will be how the organisation runs and implements projects, most notably digital change and innovation projects. These projects are the focal area of the thesis and have been analysed within the framework of a qualitative case study – the Masterportal project. This is a project that includes both the academic side of the organisation as well as the administrative side, with the effect that employees from most parts of the organisation are involved. It also directly affects students and external organisations, resulting in a case that includes most major stakeholders at HVL. Several theories and the research that they stem from will be presented, theories through which the organisation will be analysed. They are in the realm of change and innovation management, both public and private. They also cover areas of organisational structure and culture through a prism of project management. Finally, I have looked at certain theories within organisational psychology as well as knowledge management and development that can assist in giving insight and answers to the research questions. The data collected generated interesting insights into the main drivers for successful implementation of innovation. Clearly defining the roles of project participants and stakeholders in relation to the department that they belong to is essential to finding the right people, since who these are defined depends on the department. Also, communication and information need to be adapted to the culture and structure of each department, since they have clear differences that influence what works and what does not. Finally, leadership and especially some aspects of the middle manager role are key in succeeding in implementing change and innovation.
Masteroppgave i innovasjon og ledelse, Høgskulen på Vestlandet, campus Bergen