The University of New Hampshire Law Review
Facilitating Distinctive and Meaningful Change Within U.S. Law Schools (Part 2): Pursuing Successful Plan Implementation Through Better Resource Management
In Part 1 of this series, one of the current authors used institutional theory, behavioral economics, and psychology to explain why U.S. law schools have had difficulty evolving faster and better. The author then used institutional entrepreneurship to propose a seven-step, faculty-led, operational change process designed to overcome institutional isomorphism and to enable each law school to formulate a distinctive, meaningful, strategic plan. In Part 2, the current article addresses the typical implementation challenges to be expected within the context of existing law school governance. The article begins by discussing the Resource Based View of the firm and the role of resource management in achieving competitive advantages. These considerations lay the foundation for the critical role of faculty engagement and law school leadership in successful strategic plan implementation. Next, within this context, the article discusses four questions whose answers may foreshadow implementation problems. Lastly, the article discusses the results of several Monte Carlo Simulations. The simulations provide insight into the likely performance problems caused by faculty misaligned with, or disengaged from, their law school’s strategic goals. The results suggest that even minimal faculty misalignment can have a significant deleterious effect on the ability of a given law school to achieve any distinctive position. All told, the article concludes that U.S. law schools can successfully implement distinctive and meaningful strategic plans within existing shared governance structures. However, success will be difficult to achieve. It requires the full engagement and leadership by both the faculty and the Dean, sustained operational support for strategic change, and the active management of law school resources.
Patrick H. Gaughan & Samantha J. Prince, Facilitating Distinctive and Meaningful Change in U.S. Law Schools (Part 2): Pursuing Successful Plan Implementation Through Better Resource Management, 18 U.N.H. L. Rev. 173 (2020).