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The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out Hardcover – July 26, 2011


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The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out + College Unbound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students + Higher Education in the Digital Age
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118063481
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118063484
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Scholars will find this work a good point of departure for asking more pointed questions about how nest to meet the demands of an increasingly disparate population of students (and potential students) who have different needs and expectations from previous generations of college-going individuals." — Journal of College Student Retention Vol. 15 (3)

From the Inside Flap

The language of crisis is nothing new in higher education—for years critics have raised alarms about rising tuition, compromised access, out of control costs, and a host of other issues. Yet, though those issues are still part of the current crisis, it is not the same as past ones. For the first time, disruptive technologies are at work in higher education. For most of their histories, traditional universities and colleges have had no serious competition except from institutions with similar operating models. Now, though, there are disruptive competitors offering online degrees. Many of these institutions operate as for-profit entities, emphasizing marketable degrees for working adults. Traditional colleges and universities have valuable qualities and capacities that can offset those disruptors' advantages—but not for everyone who aspires to higher education, and not without real innovation. How can institutions of higher education think constructively and creatively about their response to impending disruption?

Written by Clayton Christensen, the father of the theory of disruptive innovation, and his colleague, Henry J. Eyring, The Innovative University offers a nuanced and hopeful analysis of the traditional university and its DNA. It explores how and why universities must change to ensure future success.

Throughout the book Christensen and Eyring show what it takes to apply Christensen's acclaimed model of disruptive innovation to a higher education environment. Through a penetrating examination of the histories and current transformations of two very different universities—Harvard and BYU-Idaho—and using other illustrative examples of innovation in higher education, The Innovative University explores how universities can find innovative, less costly ways of performing their uniquely valuable functions and thereby save themselves from decline. The book explores the strategic choices and alternative ways in which traditional universities can change to ensure their ongoing economic vitality. To avoid the pitfalls of disruption and turn the scenario into a positive and productive one, universities must re-engineer their institutional DNA from the inside out.

The Innovative University reveals how the traditional university survives by breaking with tradition, but thrives by building upon what it's done best.


More About the Author

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. In addition to his most recent book, How Will You Measure Your Life, he is the author of seven critically-acclaimed books, including several New York Times bestsellers -- The Innovator's Dilemma, The Innovator's Solution and most recently, Disrupting Class. Christensen is the co-founder of Innosight, a management consultancy; Rose Park Advisors, an investment firm; and the Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank. In 2011, he was named the world's most influential business thinker by Thinkers50.

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Customer Reviews

The authors provide exhaustive details to the point that it becomes a bit tedious to get through the book.
Gr8ful
As others have stated, the model of Disruptive Innovation does not seem to apply to higher education in the same way as it does to K-12 or other fields.
Jeffrey L
The issue of tuition increases is well-understood but the major problem is that administrative costs are typically over 40% of total income.
Peter G. Keen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Peter G. Keen VINE VOICE on July 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a strange book that should be five stars, given the distinguished authors, topic and promise to offer recommendations for radical innovation at the DNA level of universities. It doesn't deliver on any of these promises. It's bewilderingly weak and in many areas misleading. I've struggled to come up with strong points in order to give it a fair review and not to let my own views and experiences get in the way of trying to help you decide if this is a book for you. The three stars is largely to acknowledge that there is nothing "bad" about it and it's a responsible effort.

The major strength of the book is the track record and credibility of the authors. Christiansen's concept of disruptive innovation is well-regarded and influential in business circles and he has a stellar reputation as a teacher. As the foreword makes clear, the finished book itself is mainly the product of Henry Eyring, who worked with Kim Clark at Brigham Young; Clark is the well-respected former Dean from the Harvard Business School, where Christiansen has spent his academic career. Christiansen suffered a severe stroke that meant that his contribution to the book was constrained but his name is the primary attraction for readers. It was exactly that for me and much of my disappointment and frustration is that so little of the verve and crystalline clarity of his Creative Disruption comes through; his sad illness accounts for much of that.

The other strength is the shared experience and leadership of Kim Clark who took on the challenge of the presidency of Brigham Young and Feyring's helping turn around BYU-Idaho's low-ranked and ever lower business school as a moral mission experience and commitment as a leader.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey L on August 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A little background:
I have been doing research on the future of education both to find areas where I can improve "in the field" at my current job as a teacher, and also as part of research for a major graduate school (the latter being the primary impetus for this book.) I pre-ordered the book after reading "Disrupting Class," by Clayon Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson and Michael Horn. That book analyzes the future of education on a K-12 level, applying the ideas from Christensen's model of disruptive innovation to provide insight and I assumed this would do the same. It does not.

While Disrupting Class was (in my opinion) a fearless, hard look at what K-12 is, and the advances and changes in technology fit the structure of disruptive innovation, I felt that the authors had a harder time with this book. It may because they both spend their lives within the walls of the universities they discuss, but it did not seem like there was the same force behind the critique.

The book is developed by presenting a history of Harvard University and BYU-Idaho. In theory this offers insight into how modern college got to looking like it does today, but the history goes on for well over 200 pages, and I had a hard time finding much value in the process. It felt a little self indulgent to me. Only in the last 50-60 pages does the future of college really come into the discussion, and there there was hard analysis, most was soft recommendation.

The authors also made a critical, and somewhat ironic error (again in my opinion) in their analysis when they consider the role of the university. They state that the role of a university is in discovery, memory and mentoring (in essence, finding information, retaining information and passing on information.
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Luis Figueroa VINE VOICE on July 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a former tenured Professor at a top 50 University I found the The Innovative University by C.R. Christensen and H.R. Eyering to be both enlightening and filled with important statistics about a revolution in university education which will have major impact on our society. The methodology used in the book is analogous to Christensen's classic book on disruptive innovation, The Innovator's Dilemma. What's disrupting universities? In a nutshell, it's the on-line educational framework which can lead to quality university education at a fraction of the cost for a traditional bricks and mortar one. Even though, there are many aspects beyond cost when it comes to university education, the rapidly rising cost of university education (3X increase between 1980 and 2010) is the biggest driver which will trigger disruptive innovations.

A traditional university has 3 basic functions: discovery, memory, and mentoring. While excelling in all 3 functions ,as is found in elite universities such as Harvard (aportion of the book focuses on the evolution of the elite university as exemplified by Harvard), requires enormous financial resources to maintain vertical integration. Today the resources required have become astronomical. Only a few elite universities have the financial resources to function at the highes levels. However, over the last 50 years many universities have tried to emulate the vertical integration Harvard model. Even before the 2008 financial meltdown many 2nd tiered (and some 1st tiered ones) universities found themselves either unable to execute or executing poorly in their key mission areas, in an era of shrinking financial resources. This is especially true for public universities associated with cash strapped states.
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