ERIC Number: ED161344
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Reference Count: 0
Comparing Perceived Outcomes of Different Planning Activities. AIR Forum Paper 1978.
Poulton, Nick L.
The question, "Do planning techniques make a difference, and if so, to whom, and for what purpose?" was addressed by studying master planning, resource allocation, and program evaluation in several large, research-oriented universities. Observations regarding perceived utility and problems associated with these activities are discussed. Perceived utility varied by organizational level. Master planning and resource allocation techniques were the tools of the central administrator, and were not of major use to the department chairman. Program evaluation efforts had greatest impact on the operating units reviewed and were less useful to the central administrator. The ideal cycle of goal directed planning, followed by choice of action and evaluation of outcomes, does not come to automatic closure given the usual form of these activities. The most effective activities provided alternative vantage points for viewing the organization. Expanded participation raised expectations and subsequent frustrations when limited resources provided few rewards. Communication problems become more acute. Faculty participation had inherent limits. Elements of administrative environment are critical in determining the influence of planning activities on decisions. The conscious protection of openness, participation, and communication were essential. (Author)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, College Administration, College Planning, Decision Making, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Master Plans, Organizational Climate, Organizational Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Resource Allocation, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Participation, Universities
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Western Michigan Univ., Kalamazoo. Office of University Planning.
Identifiers: Planning Methods
Note: Paper presented at the annual Association for Institutional Research Forum (18th, Houston, Texas, May 21-25, 1978)