Strategy: A case study of a community college and the dynamic forces at work in its environment

by McDonald, Frances A., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 176 pages; 3397896


Past research on strategic planning has been confined largely to for-profit organizations; there is limited research on the strategic planning of nonprofit, public organizations such as institutions of higher education (IHEs), particularly nonprofit, public community colleges. Seminal scholars on strategy have associated social movements, political and economic conditions, technological advancements, and global competition as dynamic forces at work in the environment that influence strategic planning but neglected to define nor explain how and why these forces influence planning. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the forces at work in the environment of a nonprofit, public community college. This study reviewed archived documents to gain an understanding of the history and planning of a single case study community college. Individual interviews were conducted of participants with knowledge and experiences about the strategic planning of the case study and the forces, which influence planning. The collected data were analyzed to identify recurring keywords and phrases referring to forces in the environment that influence planning and compared with the references of forces in the environment from seminal scholars to verify the study's results. The results of this study revealed the population, economy, government, accrediting agencies, competition, leadership, and inertia influence the planning of the community college. A limitation of this study was the focus on a single case study and a recommendation for further research was to investigate the planning of other nonprofit, public community colleges and the forces in the environment that influence their strategic planning.

AdviserMary Evans-Kasala
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsCommunity college education; Management; Educational administration; Higher education
Publication Number3397896

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