Integrating Cultural Perspectives Into Organizational Learning: An Anecdotal Study in Higher Education

Integrating Cultural Perspectives Into Organizational Learning: An Anecdotal Study in Higher Education

Ruth Gotian (Weill Cornell Medicine, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3474-7.ch013
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Higher education has a distinct culture. Subsets of this unique culture are found in specific professional schools, including medical, dental, law, and business schools. Just as every person is different, every institution is also distinctive. Regardless of similarities, successful initiatives at one institution may not translate to another institution. To succeed, a culture of learning, open dialogue, and unbiased, active listening must reverberate through every person and level of hierarchy within the organization. This chapter will delve into the hallmarks of a learning organization and provide useful tools to create successful learning organizations at the program, departmental, and organizational levels while simultaneously being open to transformative learning opportunities for its faculty and staff.
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Higher education has its own culture. Successful programs in the corporate world may not translate to the academic environment. As a subset of higher education, professional schools have vastly different cultures. Institutions within the empire of higher education have distinct cultures and rhythms. Professional schools, especially Ivy League institutions, are rooted in centuries-old traditions. These include: medical, dental, and law schools. Leadership at these institutions resembles a revolving door as new leaders introduce their own ideas and visions. Success or failure of leadership can be summed up by whether they took the time to understand the culture of their new institution. Armed with examples ranging from admissions to retreat planning, this chapter will focus on real life examples within higher education experienced by an educational administrator with over a quarter century career in higher education. The outcomes varied based on the leader’s cultural understanding and appreciation of the institution. This chapter serves as a guide for such leaders, articulating the importance of bridging the dichotomy between the cultural organization and the learning organization and to understand the role cultural influencers have within the organization and the context of learning.

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