Preferred Name

Bobby Zaepfel



Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Department of Learning, Technology and Leadership Education


Noorie K. Brantmeier


The objective of this qualitative case study was to develop a thematic change model and taxonomy of change factors specifically designed for higher education practitioners at James Madison University (JMU). This research will provide resources to guide future institutional change at JMU while focusing on the practical nature of applying resources and techniques to facilitate organizational change. This study will bridge the gap between academic research and practitioner application by creating a cyclical theoretical framework grounding the exploration of complex higher education change dynamics at JMU. Individual interviews focused on recent change events were conducted with participants identified through the use of purposive and random sampling. The results of this study offer JMU the beginning of a toolkit of resources to assist in facilitation and implementation of change individually and organizationally at the department, division, and institutional level. With possible application across higher education, this study will reshape how organizational and institutional change is facilitated and implemented at JMU. As a result of the emergent coding and data analysis process, a holistic framework of five overarching themes as well as sub themes were constructed identifying key factors supporting and constraining change. These key factors combine to form a thematic model and taxonomy of critical components for those who plan, lead, and facilitate higher education change.