Leading Digital Change: Management of Hybridity and Change in Education and Social Service Institutions

Leading Digital Change: Management of Hybridity and Change in Education and Social Service Institutions

Since the 1990s, change management has received considerable attention as the new paradigm for the management of organisational transformations as well as behavioural and motivational changes within both for-profit and non-profit organisations. As such, constant changes have also become the new “normality” in educational and social service organisations. It is inherent to such organisations to be permanently and simultaneously confronted with different “rationalities” of their stakeholders. As hybrid organisations, they have to mediate between the logics of governmental, market-based, and societal structures. This is also particularly important in the light of the various challenges related to the integration of digital technologies into almost all areas of education and social services, the development of new virtual business cultures within those organisations, and the evolution of innovative social and educational business models (e.g. social entrepreneurship and edupreneurship).

Against this background, this paper discusses the questions of how the process of digital change management must be designed, implemented, and sustainably developed in educational and social service organisations, of what principles of leading such changes could be relied on, and of what leadership qualities and competencies are required by the change agents in such a process. Based on the adaptive leadership approach, digital change and innovation will be understood as a process of mastering so-called ‘adaptive’ challenges that require organisational learning, the re-placement of old management practices with more human-centred management activities, the development of new digital literacy skills and leadership competencies, the facilitation of personnel development to mobilise the staff to enact changes in their behaviour, values, and attitudes in volatile environments and uncertain times (Kreutzer et al 2017). Eventually, the paper leads to a discussion and reflection of a sustainable framework for digital change management at the level of the individual change agents, change programs and initiatives, and the organisation itself (micro, meso and macro-level).

Kreutzer, R.T., Neugebauer, T., & Pattloch, A. (2017). Digital business leadership. Digital Transformation, Geschäftsmodell-Innovation, agile Organisation, Change-Management. Wiesbaden: SpringerGabler.

See Publications: Arnold, M (in press). Leading Digital Change – Management of Hybridity and Change in Education and Social Service Institutions. In T. Koehler, E. Schoop, & N. Kahnwald (Eds.), Communities in New Media. Researching the Digital Transformation in Science, Business, Education & Public Administration. Proceedings of 23nd Conference GeNeMe 2020. Dresden: TUDpress.*

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Dr. Maik Arnold is Professor for Non-Profit-Management and Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Transfer at University of Applied Science Dresden.