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Graduate Defense: Jenni Gudapati

February 29 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Dissertation Defense

Dissertation Information

Title: A Process Map For Promoting Successful Industry Academic Partnerships For Curriculum Development: Integration Of Multiple Streams Framework And Stakeholder Theory

Program: Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration

Advisor: Dr. Shikhar Sarin, Marketing

Committee Members: Dr. Andrew Giacomazzi, School of Public Service; Dr. Lutana Haan, Public and Population Health; Dr. Steve Davis, School of Public Service; and Dr. Anthony Stanowski, School of Public Service


There is a widening gap between traditional higher education and the needs of the industry workforce. Higher education has lately been criticized for having too few voices playing a role in most curricula development, with the voices being used consisting largely of career academics (Nature Editorial, 2023). Both industry and academia have found a disconnect between academic training and preparedness to enter the labor market (Jackson et al., 2016). Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) and Stakeholder Theory (ST) have been offered as potential frameworks for guiding elements of policy or strategy development and implementation in this context. However, in this dissertation, using case study analysis, I show that when used alone, both MSF and ST principles, fail to yield desired outcomes in the development and implementation of policy and program design. I present and analyze two additional cases, through autoethnographic case analysis, which show how effective integration of MSF and ST can provide a policy process map for developing academic programs that leads to successfully addressing the gap between industry needs and curriculum development. This analysis proposes the following four themes to maximize success for this process: 1) garnering support from stakeholders with power, 2) jointly optimizing stakeholder values in program design, 3) identifying and addressing opposition early in the process, and 4) re-designing existing organizational processes to meet stakeholder needs. The findings of this dissertation suggest that for industry-partnered higher education program design, integration of Stakeholder Theory with the Multiple Streams Framework presents a comprehensive, practical, and interdisciplinary process map for ensuring success.