The Effects of Major Change: A Case Study in an Australian University

By Mohd Fauzi Kamarudin and Karen Starr.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 7, 2014 $US5.00

The current context of higher education is dynamic with various demands for change. Among catalysts for change are competition, market orientation, globalisation and technology. Nevertheless, the fact is, implementing major change in higher education is not an easy task. Higher education as an entity is unique unlike business organisations. A university has distinctive fundamental characters and practices such as the presence of diverse and ambiguous objectives and semi-autonomous organisational structures. Another issue is the presence of the human factor. In this aspect, the problems, views, experiences and knowledge of faculty members need to be taken into account. All these aspects may contribute to the success of the major change. Yet, some might also resist change. In this light, literature has shown that organisational change impacts individuals of the organization and vice versa. In addition, an imposed change may create negative emotions such as fear of losing something important, anger and anxiety. On the other hand, planned change may be accompanied by excitement and hope. In all these developments, literature has shown that studies on post change era are scarce. This is interesting because scholars have argued that post change era is an important time since it determines the success and failure of the change. This paper is about the effects of major change in an Australian university. Major change is defined as an amalgamation in a higher institution. In this case study, interviews were carried out to extract experiences of leaders and co-workers who had lived through the major change. These multi perspectives provide a rich description of the why, how and what aspects of the major change that may prove useful to leaders and staff of an academic organisation. The paper ends with some suggestions on improving institutional amalgamation.

Keywords: Higher Education, Change, Amalgamation

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 6, Issue 3, March 2014, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 7, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 276.454KB)).

Mr Mohd Fauzi Kamarudin

Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Malaysia

Kamarudin received a PhD from Deakin University and currently works at the Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka in Malaysia.

Prof. Karen Starr

Foundation Chair, Leadership and School Renewal, Faculty of Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Prof. Karen Starr is the Foundation Chair, School Development and Leadership and Director of the Centre for Educational Leadership and Renewal at Deakin University. Prior to this, she was a school Principal for fifteen years in South Australia and Victoria. Karen Starr was Chief Writer of South Australia’s Curriculum, Standards and Accountability Framework (SACSA), and in 2004, she won the Victorian and Australian Telstra Business Women’s Awards for the not-for-profit sector. She is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. Her research interests lie in educational leadership, the principalship, change and renewal, curriculum, teacher education and professional learning, governance, and educational policy and equity.


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