Managing Global Transitions

Volume 1 · Number 1 · Spring 2003 · ISSN 1581-6311 (printed) 1854-6935 (online)

The Editor's Corner
Anita Trnavčevič
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Speculative Fictions for Understanding Global Change Environments: Two Thought Experiments
Noel Gough

The purpose of a thought experiment, as the term was used by quantum and relativity physicists in the early part of the twentieth century, was not prediction (as is the goal of classical experimental science), but more defensible representations of present ‘realities’. Speculative fictions, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to the Star Wars cinema saga, can be read as sociotechnical thought experiments that produce alternative representations of present circumstances and uncertainties, and anticipate and critique possible futures. In this essay I demonstrate how two examples of popular speculative fictions, Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) and Ursula Le Guin's The Telling (2000), function as thought experiments that problematise global transitions in their respective eras. I argue that critical readings of such stories can help us to anticipate, critique, and respond constructively to social and cultural changes and change environments within nation-states that constitute, and are constituted by, global change processes and their effects.
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Vital Approach to Transition: Slovene Multiple Case Study
Suzanne Winbauer Catana

This paper uses a multiple case study to suggest the effectiveness in application of an integrated model for the design of sustainable change strategies in high velocity environments and organizations. The model integrates awareness of current organizational cultural characteristics with leadership intent and strategy formation. The cultural analysis provides a lens through which diverse organizational values are exposed and stakeholders can assess organizational alignment with the external environment, organizational mission and future vision. Using the inherent differentiation of values as creative tensions, strategies are formulated for purposeful change to improve alignment. Leadership inquiry is used to suggest an alignment of personal intent with the strategic initiatives to project sustainable change. This Values, Inquiry, and Tensions Alignment for Leadership model (VITAL) is applied as an intervention sequence which provides information, direction, and motivation for sustainable change in transition organizations and environments.
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Educational Leadership for Results or for Learning? Contrasting Directions in Times of Transition
David Oldroyd

Educational leadership, like educational systems and schooling, is steered by the national political, professional and social contexts in which it occurs. In recent years, managerialist values have informed the policies of many governments and “new public management” challenges the ideals of “progressive humanistic leadership” in schools in many countries. The former approach is driven by results and demands for accountability whereas the latter favours an holistic, child-centred approach to leadership in which educational leaders at both system and school levels adopt a proactive, empowering and participative approach based on humane values of personal and organisational learning. Newly professionalised educational managers in the transforming systems of central and east Europe face the difficult task of reconciling these two differing directions. Scholars, researchers and developers of educational leadership have a key role to play in helping to deepen understanding of the dilemmas created by these contradictory trends.
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Creating a Culture of Innovation in Canadian Schools
David C. Dibbon

Since its inception in 1996, the GrassRoots Program has been instrumental in facilitating the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) into the classrooms of Canadian schools. By linking the GrassRoots Program to the school curriculum and providing incentives for teachers to engage students in the process of co-creating electronic curriculum resources for the Internet, it has been influential in transforming classrooms into authentic centres of learning. There is overwhelming evidence supporting the concept that the GrassRoots Program is a powerful connector between ICT and new teaching theories. This paper provides an overview of innovation, a background to some of the challenges associated with large-scale innovation in the Canadian K-12 school system and the findings from a collection of 16 case studies conducted in innovative schools in Canada. An analysis of the data contained in the case studies indicates that the GrassRoots Program is having a positive impact on the diffusion of ICT in the classrooms of schools that are members of the Network of Innovation (NIS), and it is making a significant contribution to the development of a culture of innovation. The existence of GrassRoots projects has also increased the capacity for innovation by empowering and enabling the schools and teachers to work on multiple innovations simultaneously. Also, there is sufficient evidence to show that GrassRoots has had a major impact on: teacher professional learning; teacher technology skill development; student technology skill development, student employability skill development; access to teaching resources; leadership opportunities; and school growth and development.
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Managing Global Training Utilizing Distance Learning Technologies and Techniques: The United States Army Readiness Training
Susan Haugen, Robert Behling, Wallace Wood, and David Douglas

Distance learning (e-learning) is expanding at a very rapid pace as organizations throughout the world search for economical, responsive, and effective means to train workers to meet the challenges of the information age workplace. The Army Distance Learning Program (TADLP) model is discussed in the context of the global e-learning environment. Both e-learning infrastructure and management issues are identified, with emphasis on: (1) developing policy, (2) measuring performance, (3) managing resources, (4) maintaining standards, and (5) satisfying users. The TADLP program is challenging to manage effectively, and difficult to accurately assess program outcomes.
The TADLP program is shown to have a well-executed infrastructure plan, quality management of both facilities and services by contractor-supplied staff, and well-designed classrooms. However, the program suffers from limited courseware, creating a bottleneck for full program utilization. A discussion follows relating the Army program to public and private e-learning programs and expectations.
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