Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education/Higher Education PhD

First Advisor

Ray Franke

Second Advisor

Cheryl D. Ching

Third Advisor

Jamie Lester


Higher education institutions are struggling to engage in transformational changes to meet novel environmental forces. These struggles in part may be due to change approaches that lack coordination of professional employee and senior administrator change activity. Kezar’s (2012) Kaleidoscope Convergence—could address such separation of change agent activity. However, a limited understanding of the approach currently exists. This study seeks to gain a better understanding of how and why convergence is used for institutional transformation and engage in analysis to improve the utilization of convergence methods. Research has been organized for this study with a conceptual framework assessing institutional context, desired change, and change approach. Case study data was acquired through 24 change agent interviews, site observation, and document analysis collected from Greater Metropolis & City University (GMCU), a public suburban research university, and Hill University, a private urban research university. Identities of the institutions, programs studied, and participants interviewed have been masked. Results of this data analysis supported the premise that convergence can be used to serve institutional transformation efforts, and furthermore allowed conclusions to be drawn on the utilization of convergence strategies leading to revision of the conceptual framework to account for new information. Additional findings showed that institutional context has profound influence on convergence, that convergence requires significant input commitment to generate outcomes, and that transformational change does not have to be an overtly conflict-laden process. These findings led to the development of a new convergence model, called “Transformational Spiral Convergence”. This model more robustly addresses the roles of both groups of change agents and accommodates the spiraling manner through which convergence interaction occurs between professional employees and senior administrators. Recommendations are also presented for practitioners, higher education groups, and future research.