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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Innovation in British Columbia community colleges : a study of the relationship between innovativeness and organizational variables Behnke, Walter


From a review of the innovation literature, encompassing a broad range of research traditions and a variety of approaches to innovation research, the organizational context of innovation was identified as a research framework. This study was intended to bridge the gap between a theoretical understanding of innovation (largely derived from studies of the private and business sector) and its application to the concept of the public community college. The survey research methodology was modelled after organizational innovation studies from the organizational behavior and business management tradition in the structural-functional paradigm. Hypotheses were developed to address the research question: "To what extent does innovativeness vary among British Columbia community colleges and to what degree do specific organizational characteristics correlate with institutional innovativeness?" Data on specific organizational variables were collected from eight B.C. community colleges. Findings primarily confirm that innovativeness varies among institutions and correlates positively with activity levels of professional cross-fertilization. The most significant implication of the study for policy relating to the community college system is that higher levels of opportunity and support for professional interaction and travel and conference funding are directly related to higher levels of innovativeness in community colleges.

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