Innovative & Opinion-Leading Organizations

Individual and organizational change can be challenging. There are many theories of individual change and some have been adapted to organizational change. In general, organizational change theories can be categorized as action-oriented, one-size fits all  strategies and stage matched interventions. Stage matched interventions, which emphasize the pros over the cons in change,  have a greater likelihood of changing  behavior by increasing the likelihood that individuals within the organization will take action. By tailoring interventions to meet individual needs, organizations  can reduce resistance, stress and time to implement change and also allow individuals to participate in the change process. Using social influence to assess the readiness for change in individuals  and then more sensitively meeting them at their “change stage”  is a  more successful approach to move the majority of individuals  to the “take action” or change adoption stage (Prochaska, et al. 2001) .

Physical education teachers are less likely to adopt inclusive physical education because they are likely to have a low level of attitude, competency and confidence to teach students with disabilities. A study of 227 undergraduate students assessed pre-service physical education (PE) teachers self-efficacy toward inclusive physical education (Koh, 2021). The study included 3 groups; no training or course,  adaptive PE (APE) course,  and  APE  course with individual education plan (IEP)  training to determine which had the most impact on self-efficacy, which would be expected to improve adoption of inclusive PE. The study results identified the combination of an APE course and IEP training has the biggest impact on self-efficacy. Koh (2021) concluded that group 3’s opportunity to build curriculum, lesson plans, and assessments, as well as participate in specialized training to allow for mastery of skills had a significant impact on self-efficacy

Promoting physical activity among adolescents, while challenging, may be the best way to impact long-term health related quality of life in adults. Microgrants have been used successfully in developing countries to support changing behavior and individuals’ ability to become self-supporting. The idea of using microgrants to impact the likelihood of adolescents to adopt a physical activity regimen was studied by Tamminen et al (2014). The researchers selected nine community organizations which provide sports and physical activity opportunities to adolescents and young adults (age 12-25 years), who had received Teen Physical Activity Grants. The researchers interviewed both teen participants and community organizers to understand the impact of the funding. Overall, the microgrant program was viewed positively by both groups. Organizers acknowledged the flexibility in how the grant was used as a key benefit. They also stressed the grants made physical activity more affordable and accessible for participants and built partnerships with other community organizations. Importantly, the case study identified the ease of applying for the grants and having motivated, supportive leaders as key value drivers for success. For teen participations, the microgrants provided a rare opportunity to affect change in self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills.

Moving from early adopter to social influencer can have a dramatic impact on an organization’s ability to advance social change. Aa an early adopter, learned experiences and developed strategies can be identified as valuable assets to attract more adopters. Working collaboratively within communities to teach and grow will ultimately permit a genuine ground swell of social change.

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