GSE Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

March 2003


A recent survey of 146 postsecondary institutions found that 55% formed change task forces in the past 5 years. This article presents a detailed case of one private college that utilized task forces as a key strategy during a comprehensive change effort. Analysis describes the promise and peril of these innovative decision-making structures. Unburdened by day-today operational issues, the task forces focused on the change agenda, provided a "change friendly" environment, and became powerful change coalitions. The case shows how parallel governance structures devolve into "shadow" governance structures. Included are factors that determine how task forces enhance or compromise shared governance.


Postprint version. Published in American Behavioral Scientist, Volume 46, Issue 7, March 2003, pages 923-945.
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Date Posted: 19 April 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.