Organizational development of a university-based interdisciplinary health promotion project. Academic Article uri icon


  • To analyze the organizational development and implementation of an interdisciplinary health promotion project at the University of New Mexico. The effort involved three academic units in a 3-year externally funded project to institutionalize health promotion curricula in the respective schools and to develop a wellness-oriented service for students, faculty, and staff.The open systems theory was used as a framework to analyze the organizational and role issues that emerged from the data collected through interviews, staff surveys, and document review. The analysis is summarized by five thematic questions: (1) How did the project's vision affect its development? (2) How was leadership enacted, and with what effect? (3) What were the organizational issues for the staff? (4) What were the interdisciplinary dilemmas? (5) What was instituted or changed as a result of the project?The analysis uncovered a series of interpersonal and organizational dilemmas involving the nature of the organizational environment, the character of interdisciplinary work, leadership, boundaries of group membership, and the structuring of a unified vision.Future projects should consider the strength and stability of the boundary spanners, the resource context, and the role of a unified vision for new and organizationally linked units as key issues in facilitating and sustaining change.

publication date

  • October 1995