College student involvement in extracurricular activities creates a sense of belonging and community, but only if the experience is positive and meaningful for members. Thus, creating a positive culture or shifting a negative culture of student organizations is critical. Students are the most valuable asset in changing student organizational culture. Want to leverage student peer-to-peer relationships and an innovative student empowerment-based approach for organizational change? 

High Influencers Training (HIT) empowers student organizational members to use prosocial leadership styles, positive organizational practices, and team-based problem solving to improve organizational effectiveness, ultimately addressing student apathy and motivation in the organization.  

HIT uses Social Network Analysis to identify, empower and support the most influential organizational members to build positive organizational climate and culture. High-status influencers learn how to shift the climate by decreasing harmful organizational outcomes (e.g., apathy of members) and promote positive outcomes (e.g., motivation and engagement). As a new positive climate emerges from these efforts, influencers will be motivated to address the deeper culture-related issues, such as harmful behaviors (e.g., binge drinking) and positive norms for behaviors (e.g., recognizing good actions). 

To facilitate organizational change, top-down and bottom-up organizational strategies are needed. The HIT approach comprises of three components: 1) HIT Participant Training, 2) Organization Workshop, and 3) Technical Assistance. 

  1.  HIT Participant Training: HIT participants are often positional leaders (e.g., President) and high-status informal influencers, and thus possess the means to implement both top-down and bottom-up organizational change. We empower students to develop, implement, and assess (then repeat) top-down and bottom-up, organizational-change strategies in order to address all organizational issues—from destructive organizational policies to harmful organizational norms.  

  2. Organization Workshop: During the Organization Workshop, HIT participants use their HIT training to facilitate a discussion with their organizational members. HIT participants use their organizational influence and strategies learned during HIT Participant Training to generate buy-in and to unsure immediate organizational change.

  3.  Technical Assistance: HIT has built-in processes for Cor staff or on-campus professionals to support HIT participants as they implement change strategies and work towards immediate and long-term organizational change goals. 

club/chapter culture change 

Do all-member presentations (e.g., guest speaker) motivate every organizational member to improve their own actions and the student club or chapter? Likely not.

Using a statistical model after a student survey, we identify HIT participants who are most able to influence other members and improve the organization. Imagine selecting the 24 students in your greek chapter who can reach 100% of the organization (e.g., 132 members). Imagine empowering only 6 students in Student Government who have influence over the 14 other members.


Community culture change

Do you know how students feel about the following questions:

  • Which organizations have positive, neutral, or negative relationships with one another?
  • Which organizations are isolated from the rest of the community?
  • Which organizations bridge relationships between councils?

We can provide your institution with a report of our data collection methodology, social network analysis findings, recommendations for your community, and training for your students.