Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


This qualitative study identified the best practices utilized by community colleges to achieve systemic and cultural agreement in support of the integration of institutional effectiveness measures (key performance indicators) to inform decision making. In addition, the study identifies the relevant motives, organizational structure, and processes to support the continuing organization development as the institution transitions to an information rich decision making environment.

A multi-dimensional conceptual framework consisting of four concepts and theories was used to situate the study. The conceptual framework elements were: John Levin’s (2001) Four Domains of Globalization (globalization), L. E. Greiner’s (1998) Five Stages of Organizational Development (organizational change and development), Robert Stringer’s (2002) Leadership and Organizational Climate model (organizational culture), and lastly a data management analysis framework developed by Rand Corporation researchers Gina Ikemoto and Julie Marsh (2007) (knowledge management).

Three Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) community colleges from the Higher Learning Commission’s North Central Association were selected as participants. Colleges participating in AQIP were selected because Program participants actively pursue the integration of continuous process improvement and total quality management principals into the management practices of their institutions. The merging of these principles into the cultural fabric of the institution is vital to developing a data-driven decision-making environment that steers the organization towards enhanced organizational effectiveness. To ensure transferability of the study’s findings purposefully sampling with random sort and maximum variation were applied to identify the participating colleges.

The study’s findings affirmed research from organizational development literature (Weick, 1993; Greiner, 1998) that states; in order to reduce ambiguity in interpreting data results (information) and achieve maximum benefit, organizational members must have at their disposal a process, data management infrastructure and supporting cultural environment to fully implement data-driven decision making practices throughout the community college organization. Derived from the findings, the Knowledge-management and Effectiveness Integration Model (KEIM) provides as formative process that will help administrators, faculty, and staff transform their institutions into a data-driven decision making college and assist them in understanding the significance, implications, and importance of the data they collect. The KEIM provides a practical implementation approach for community colleges seeking to establish a comprehensive data and knowledge management process as it addresses the behavioral complexity of the organizational culture and highlights leadership roles needed to create a supportive organizational climate for the transformative change.