Above: A brief interview with the author which accompanied her dissertation.
Dr. Kara Malenfant is a 2011 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership & Change at Antioch University
Dr. Kara Malenfant at her Dissertation Defense in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
(l-r) Dr. Al Guskin, Dr. Kara Malenfant, Dr. David Staley & Dr. Jon Wergin (Dissertation Chair)
academic libraries, university libraries, librarians, faculty, futures research, scenario planning, strategic planning, leadership, change management
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.
The intent of this study was to aid academic librarians in examining their perceptions of the future of higher education, engaging disciplinary faculty members to understand their views, and determining actions to take to shape the future. In this mixed methods study, scenarios about the future of higher education served as the basis for collecting quantitative (survey) and qualitative (focus group) data at one institution. During this study, staff, faculty, and administrators at one library developed new ways to craft strategies and make decisions, shifting their focus from strategic planning as an event to strategic thinking as a process, a way of organizational learning. Most traditional strategic planning processes operate from foundational beliefs that planning is rational, the future is predictable, and change is linear. Futures work, however, is not grounded in these assumptions. Creating and using scenarios as the basis to set strategic directions aided the group in thinking more broadly and more creatively about how they will approach the changing nature of higher education. This study, with its orientation toward action research and futures research, is issued under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This document is accompanied by a brief audio interview with the author in MP3 format.
Malenfant, K. J. (2011). Understanding Faculty Perceptions of the Future: Action Research for Academic Librarians. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/19