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How Colleges Work: Chapter 1-3

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Ashley Rivard

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of How Colleges Work: Chapter 1-3

How Colleges Work: Chapter 1-3

Chapter 1: Problems of Governance, Management, and Leadership in Academic Institutions
Problems in Governance
Chapter 2: Thinking in Systems & Circles: The Structure & Dynamics of Academic Organizations
The Contingency Approach
Problems of Organization
Implications for Administrators
Changes in one part of an organization may affect other parts through a sequence of relationships
Chapter 3: Making Decisions and Making Sense
The Administrator's Role
Trustees & Faculty
Historically, governance was exercised by the Trustees fully
Faculty became more professionalized = more control over curriculum & academic matters
Trustees see their institutions as comparable to business firms & have lesser support for academic freedom
Faculty see their institutions as academic output
40% of trustees are businessmen and not faculty
Administrators & Faculty
Administrators are separated from the rest of the university
As a result faculty & administrators are isolated from one another
Administrators see faculty as self-interested, unconcerned with costs, or unwilling to respond to legitimate request of accountability
Faculty view administrators as constraints, red tape, and outside pressure seeking to alter the institution.
Normative Statements of Governance
"Joint Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" 19567
governance is considered to be a team effort and joint bodies contribute to the success of the institution
faculty should have a voice on academic matter with the Board
doesn't identify specific structures that would allow the implementation of these principles
does not fully take into account the various kings of institutions
Dualism of Controls
Two structures exist within the university
Mission & Managment
Clarity and agreement is needed for an educational mission
Institutions often embrace a large number of conflicting goals
accountability is important but can become blurred due to different goals and objectives
Faculty are often directed towards:
No design has been able to balance all three interests equally
Power, Compliance, & Control
Power: the ability to produce intended change in other
5 Types of powers in social groups
The Nature of Systems
1. The Pool System (closed): the movement of any of the balls from its initial position at the start of the play affects every other ball on the table

2. The School System (open): the components are not simple and consist of two complex subsystems
(a) technical subsystem
(b) administrative subsystem
Inputs & Outputs
1. Pool System: environmental input is relatively simple. Kinetic energy that is transferred, causing movement

2. School System: Have many environmental inputs. For example: students are likely to be change in many ways during their involvement in college
Types of Systems
1. Closed System (linear): boundaries are relatively rigid and limit the kinds of interaction that take place within the environment
(A) Input: definable, controllable, simple
(B): Output: disappears and does not serve to energize the system

2. Open Systems (dynamic & non-linear): boundaries are relatively fluid and interactions of many kinds are likely to occur between the environment and many of the system elements
(A) Input: complex, consists of many people, idea, resources or involvement with other systems
(B): Output: returns to the environment, where they may again become inputs
Tight & Loose Coupling
Loose Coupling: connections between organizational subsystems that may be infrequent, circumscribed, weak in their mutual efforts, unimportant or slow to respond

Tight Coupling: precise correspondence between two elements; changes in one element usually result in direct responsive changes in another
The Environment of Colleges
& Universities
Environments can be stable or turbulent

Some institutions may look the same from year to year

Others constantly confront new and unexpected problems

Institutions are becoming less autonomous and more connected to outside systems than in the past
Thinking in Circles
A system perspective requires us to replace linear thinking with an understanding of how elements and subsystems are connected to each other in nonlinear circles of reciprocal interaction and influence

Some circles of interaction are not reinforcing and amplifying but self-correcting and stabilizing

Thinking in circles provides a better understanding of organizational dynamics & can make administrator more effective
Cause & Effect
Because elements and subsystems of an organization are coupled with each other and the environment ---- their relationships are interactive and reciprocal
Time & Administrative Behavior
The greater the separation in time, the less obvious the causes & effect relationship will be

Recognition of cause & effect is constrained by the time it takes to see changes made and measure effect within the loosely couple system
Being Rational
Being Sensible
Organizing is the process through which groups of people develop similar perceptions of reality and come to share common meanings about their experiences
Reality can be interpreted through a nonlinear 4-stage process:
Institutional Culture:
Efficeincy, Ceremony, Management
organizational culture is a powerful way of looking at how people institutions create social reality through their interactions and interpretations
Culture is the social or normative glue that holds an organization together (values, beliefs, behavior, etc)
Three cultural systems have a major effect on institutions: (1) National Education System (2) Academic Profession (3) Academic Discipline
strong cultures are more likely to be found on campuses that have small, older, and have successfully engaged in a struggle for survival or status
Every college has unique characteristics
cultural differences derive from basic assumptions and beliefs & not from administrative structure or academic programs
1. Conventional administrative hierarchy
2. Structure through which faculty made decisions regarding the aspects over which they had control

The two controls systems are structurally separate
& are based on different systems of authority

Administrative Authority is predicated on the control and coordination of activities by superiors (hierarchy)

Professional authority is predicated on autonomy and individual knowledge (faculty)
Coercive Power
the ability to punish if a person does not accept one's attempt at influence
Reward Power
the ability to offer pr promise a rewards to another or remove/decrease negative influences
Legitimate Power
when both parties agree to a common code or standard that fives on party the right to influence the other in a specific range of actives or behaviors
Referent Power
the results from willingness to be influenced by another due to one's identification with the other

Expert Power
when one person accepts influence from another because of a belief the other has special knowledge
Insitutions & Environments
Institutions must be responsive to their environments in order to survive
Environmental factors have increased over the past 20 years (federal & state, the courts, more layers of governance)
growth= higher level of division
funding is a concern
monetary donors or third parties have a loci of control
increased faculty specialization and decreased administrative authority = decentralization
institutions need to become more administratively centralized because:
requirements to justify budgets
implement procedures for equitable treatment
unified voice to power of external agencies
Inflexibility of Resources
resources are limited
institution attractiveness to donors or prospective students is hard to control
large portion of budgets are fixed
public institutions are subjected to state regulations
Confusion of Organizational Levels
Organizations are composed of 3 levels of responsibility & control
Cosmopolitans & Locals
Cosmopolitans: faculty whose peers are colleagues across the country/world and share their specialized interests
Problems of Leadership
No agreement on how leadership can be defined, measured, or assessed

No clear understanding of what distinguishes leaders from non-leaders

Institutional & Organizational Constraints
1. Technical: research, teaching, service of faculty
2. Managerial: administration mediates between technical & institutional
3. Institutional: board of trustees and president
Some institutions have blurred lines between technical (faculty) and institutional (BOT and president)
Locals: faculty whose major commitments are to their campuses
Rank is provided by the institution but prestige is given by a third party
Conflicts between rank and prestige may weaken administrative authority
5 Approaches to Organizational Leadership
1. trait: identify specific characteristics that make a person successfully function as a leaders

2. Power & Influence: soure and amount of power available to leaders & the manner in which they lead

3. Behavioral: examines activity patterns, managerial roles and behavioral categories

4. Contingency: importance of situational factors

5. Symbolic & Cultural: assume that leadership is a social attribution tha permits people to cognitively connect outcomes to causes
Social Exchange Theory
Leadership as a Symbol
View organizations as systems of belief & perception in which reality is invented, not discovered
Leadership & Environments
The primary factor affecting leadership may bot be found in the presidents themselves but rather the constraints that exist in the environment within which administrators function

Leadership appears in short supply during bad times
There is a reciprocal relationship whereby leaders provide needed services to a group in exchange for the group's approval and compliance with the leader's demands

Pool System: clearly define

School System: not clear-cut but still identifiable
Functions of Loosely Coupled Systems

sensitivity to the environment
DysFunctions of Loosely Coupled Systems

Can be described as waste, inefficiency or indecisive leadership

Difficulty to repair defective systems

Makes coordination of activities problematic

Makes it difficulty to use administrative processes to effect change
Coupling & Survival
Any major change in a subsystem or in the environment can be expected to have an effect on any other subsystems it is tightly coupled with and less predicable effects of those it is loosely coupled with

Institutions can have a larger number of environment relationships and demands that are inconsistent with each other.
(a) insisting on tight coupling of all subsystems would result in an internal freeze
(b) loose coupling makes it possible for an institution to develop subsystems that response separately to demands
*making loose coupling an adaptive device for institutions
The Technical Subsystem of Colleges and Universities
Differences in Institutional Governance and Management
The behavior of a college as a system depends on the details of the connections of subsystems

The environment and technical subsystems pose the greatest degree of uncertainty for an organization
Technical and managerial levels of organization are interdependent

These difference are best supported by different management structures and processes

(a) Infrequent change: stable management system may be appropriate

(b) frequent change: calls for less centralization and a more adaptive behavior
Colleges and universities differ from each other in a variety of important ways; resulting in difference in how they are operated

Colleges with stable technologies and environments should be able to function effectively using close system logic and bureaucratic structures

Colleges with complex environments and technologies need open-system logic
Administrative actions can have a dramatic & expected effect, but other times identical actions may appear to have little or no effect

"Counterintuitive behavior of social systems"

Administrators might be better off learning how to increase their effectiveness under conditions of low predictability
Differences Between Institutions
Must be careful of any normative statement of administration or management the does not clearly specify the characteristics of the organization it apples too.
The Need for Unlearning
Becoming aware of the elements & relationships that form our maps permits us, at a new institution, to recognize the need to unlearn previous maps
Objective rationality is impossible because of inherent limitations of human cognitive ability
Leaders can only make the best decisions based on what they know
The majority of decisions have many alternative outcomes; each with it's own trade-offs
Rationality requires calculations and comparisons of the trade-offs
Establishing criteria for deciding what an outcome wold have to achieve to be considered satisfactory
No decision can optimize all values
A decision that optimizes one is acceptable it the outcomes falls within the range of all values
All definitions of effectiveness reflect subjective biases and values
rationality is not unimportant but it is not the drive purpose of administration
1. environmental change
2. enactment
3. selection
4. retention
Sharing Meanings: understanding of a shared common perception of reality begins with considering a subsystem of two people
Perceptions of reality become even more consistent as the interactions between subsystems are continuously repeated
Retrospective sense making: using hindsight events clearly can be identified as important or unimportant to eventual outcomes
Implications for the Adminstrator as
Decision Maker or Sense Maker
Organizational cultures establish the boundaries within which various behaviors and processes take place:
by helping to create shared culture, they allow participants to make sense of an equivocal world and establish a consensus on appropriate behavior
Administrator's role is more to sustain culture once it's created
Presidents can strengthen and protect institutional culture by:
articulating it
screening out personnel who challenge it
continually rebuild it
A major function of the energy of administrators is to prevent the organization's culture from falling apart
By: Ashley Rivard
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