Mark A. Hower is a 2012 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.


collaboration, organizational change, faculty work, higher education, multiple case study, academic departments, colleges, universities

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Freedom to pursue one's intellectual interests, known as professional autonomy, is a valued and longstanding faculty tradition. Profound changes in society and the academy, however, suggest new values may be emerging. Collaboration, for example, is increasingly vital to success outside of the academy, and faculty culture, long an individualistic domain, may be shifting in response. This multiple case study explores how faculty members experience the relationship between professional autonomy and collaboration within the context of their department work. Faculty members in four departments were interviewed and both qualitative and simple quantitative data collected. The study found faculty members satisfied with the autonomy they experienced. Collaborative practices were evident, though faculty generally expressed a desire for increased collaboration with colleagues. The interviews also suggested attributes of a collaborative department, one in which collaboration is a more intentional element of the unit practice and design. The electronic version of the Dissertation is at the open-access Ohiolink ETD Center,