Evolving Organization Contexts
Shawna Vyhmeister

 


Organization and Operations: Technology
and Changes

Kim Liang Samuel Chuah

The Impact of Epistemology on Approaches to the Study of Organizational Culture : Some Examples from Information Systems
Ronald Vyhmeister

Leadership Styles of Information Technology Administrators in Selected Philippine Adventist Educational Institutions
Adrian Schmidt

Strengthening Education and Workplace Linkages:
The E-Learning Challenge

 Leni Casimiro

Required Competencies for the Academic Deans: Basis for a Competency-Based Performance Appraisal
Silva.B'Julah Q.


Engaging Every Learner
M. A. Blankstein, W. R. Cole and D. P Houston
Kofi Boakye-Dankwa

Faculty Mentoring: The Power in Developing
Technology Expertise

A. D. Thompson, H. Chuang and I. Sahin
Aimee Grace B.Tapeceria

    

Evolving Organizational Contexts

Organizations are not static. They are made up of people, who change over time, and they respond to changing needs in society. As society has changed more rapidly in recent years, organizations have needed to respond more rapidly in order to survive. New terms have been coined to describe these concerns, such as organizational learning, downsizing, reengineering, globalization, and many others.

A big part of the changes in society have been fueled by developments in information and communication technology (ICT). These developments have changed the way we do business, the way we communicate, the way we educate, and even the way we see the world.

These changes in society and the way it operates are the driving force behind this issue of the InFo Journal, which takes its theme from the Research Forum on Evolving Organizational Contexts held Dec. 6-8, 2007 on the campus of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies. Most of the research contained in this issue was presented at the Forum.

In his keynote address, Samuel Kim Liang Chuah painted a picture of this new world in which organizations now operate, and discussed the connections between technology and change. He explained how the way we do business must change, given the environmental changes, citing many examples from companies currently experiencing the situations. This piece provides a foundation for the others in this issue to build on in terms of why organizational change is inevitable.

Three of the four remaining articles in this issue are directly or indirectly related to information technology (IT). Vyhmeister looks at the impact of research design on the study of organizational culture, in a sort of “where you look affects what you find” type of reasoning. He suggests that because organizational culture is complex, multiple methods of studying it will yield more accurate results than any single measure; these studies might be done sequentially, not necessarily all at once. To illustrate, he draws examples from the IT field.

Schmidt’s research on the Leadership Styles of IT Administrators in Educational Institutions in the Philippines touches on several important points. The IT field is still young, and, at least in educational settings, job titles, descriptions, and accomplishments vary widely by institution, and expectations vary widely by users. This is a field where flexibility is required because of the rapid changes in technology, but the variety and lack of definition among IT administrators gives pause for thought.

The third IT related study is Casimiro’s work on how ICT can and has changed the way we conceptualize education. As knowledge continues to evolve, there are more and more things to teach, and only the same amount of time to teach them in. Sometimes this results in a trimming of the “extras” like hands-on practice, in favor of just telling students what they need to know. Schools may not consult the workplace for ideas as to what to teach, simply because they already have an overloaded curriculum. But connecting with real life and building communities of practice where students and teachers alike can grow and learn in an online environment is one new way of helping people better prepare for or cope with real life environments. These new ways of learning challenge us as teachers to develop new ways of teaching which take advantage of them. There is still much more we can do to better use the opportunities that online learning offers us.

Silva’s research on Academic Deans is the foundation of a competency-based approach for judging their capabilities. This study is timely and useful. In an era where education is looking for ways to become “lean” and to survive in an increasingly competitive market, we need clearer models for evaluating our processes and our products.

Each of these studies contributes to our understanding of the complexity of the world we live in, and how the changing organizational contexts around us will affect our world today, and in the future.


Shawna Vyhmeister, PhD
Editor, Info Journal
Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies
Silang, Cavite , Philippines