Higher Education Ph.D. Dissertations

Housing Partnerships: Understanding Organizational Culture Elements and Building and Maintenance Strategies Between University Professionals and Private Corporate Developers

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

Kenneth W. Borland (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Paul A. Johnson (Other)

Third Advisor

Christina J. Lunceford (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Edward G. Whipple (Committee Member)


As institutions explore ways to improve campus housing through non-traditional funding models, there is a need to understand how successful partnerships develop with private corporations in creating new or renovated student housing. Private public partnerships are one type of collaborative models that colleges and universities can utilize to develop housing improvements on campus using alternative funding sources. Using a case study methodology to explore how organizational culture elements and partnership building and maintenance strategies affect partnerships with private corporate developers in creating housing projects, this research was implemented at Bowling Green State University, a Midwestern, public university.

Nine participants (2 consultants, 5 BGSU professionals, and 2 corporate professionals) participated in this qualitative research. Leveraging elements from Schein’s (2010) organizational culture and Rogers, Kent, and Lang’s (2017) strategic partnering framework, a theoretical framework was developed. Findings in this study resulted in five important emergent themes that affected partnership development between university professionals and private corporate developers. Those broad themes included the roles of leaders, responsibilities identified through interactions, goals and value alignment, trust development, and concerns. The participants described their experiences within those five themes as being most important to developing successful partnerships.

Additional implications for practice and research were presented in this study. First, identify distinct partnership leadership roles that establish direct and indirect partnership-development responsibilities. Second, identify known and accepted goals and values that create ownership and respect in the partnership process. Finally, establish contractual, procedural, and personal trust within the partnership that identify assessment protocols to address issues and concerns.