About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7587-7595
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.1758

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain


D. Sucozhanay1, M. Lema1, L. Sigüenza-Guzman2

1Universidad de Cuenca (ECUADOR)
2University of Cuenca (ECUADOR)
Today, Higher Education in Latin America is affected by rapidly changing processes in the context in which it develops. This makes urgent the need for change and innovation in Universities to maintain their effectiveness (García, 2003; Morales, 1999; Souza, 2006; Vaira, 2004). Think tank groups could be viewed as agents of change. Think tanks are a group of people who, through exchange, debate and negotiation, explore situations and produce new ideas to bring these into the decision-makers. Think tank groups are "catalysts of thoughts and ideas" and “catalysts for ideas and actions”. As a prerequisite, think tank groups require autonomy for the formulation of solutions and need freedom to reconsider accepted paradigms of the university. As we mention, think tanks has no decision-making power, thus, stakeholder management approach could help to identified and work with key university stakeholder in order to increase the acceptance of the ideas generated.

The objective of this article is to answer two core questions: how think tank groups could contribute to university change and how the stakeholder management approach could improve the performance of think tank groups in change process?. To answer these questions we developed a qualitative case study in the context of Higher Education in Ecuador. The case is situated in a public university with a long tradition, more than 100 years old. The think tank group was integrated by 10-12 individuals and work on September 2007 to April 2009.

Data collection was accomplished through direct observation, analysis of secondary documents, and in-depth semi-structured interviews to assure data triangulation (Yin, 2009). Fifteen semi-structured interviews with key informants comprised: think tank members and university managers. The data analysis was carried out in several steps. Firstly, a priority list of codes, based on our previous literature review and emergent ideas from the data, was used for coding. Second, memos were developed to summarize and clarify codes. Finally, tentative findings were discussed by the authors, and these results were subsequently contrasted with literature in order to identify its emergent theoretical contribution.

Results show that several ideas and strategies were implemented during the performance of our case study. The think tank group helped to drive university change producing ideas and proposals that impact the approach, culture and framing of the university. In addition, we found that impartially, independence and creativity are highly recommended for this type of group. Nevertheless, we also found that think tanks members should address issues regarding stakeholder management in order to identify the key stakeholder and increase the chance implement change initiatives successfully.

All in all, this article provides valuable insights to understand the role of think tank groups to produce ideas and strategies in the frame of university change and the use of stakeholder analysis to strengths the think tank practices.
author = {Sucozhanay, D. and Lema, M. and Sig{\"{u}}enza-Guzman, L.},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.1758},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.1758},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {7587-7595}}
AU - D. Sucozhanay AU - M. Lema AU - L. Sigüenza-Guzman
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.1758
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 7587
EP - 7595
ER -
D. Sucozhanay, M. Lema, L. Sigüenza-Guzman (2017) THINK TANK GROUPS AND UNIVERSITY CHANGE IN ECUADOR, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 7587-7595.