Four frames for systemic change in STEM departments

Daniel L. Reinholz, Naneh Apkarian

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Background: This paper adapts the four-frame model of organizational change to the context of higher education. We offer the model as a tool for researchers and change agents who wish to study and enact systemic change within STEM departments. We provide the four frames in contrast to overly simplistic models of change that have been shown to be unlikely to result in sustainable improvements. As we outline the four frames, we discuss both how the frames provide insight into potential products for change and how they influence the process of change. We provide an extended example of how the four frames can be used to analyze an existing change effort and implications of this approach for future work. Conclusions: This paper adapts a model for promoting and understanding change efforts in STEM departments. This is a model that can be used by nearly any researcher or administrator to help increase the impact of their work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalInternational Journal of STEM Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture
  • Institutional change
  • Organizational learning
  • Systemic change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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