ERIC Number: ED203810
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Power: The Professional Staff in a Complex University. ASHE Annual Meeting 1981 Paper.
Anselm, Carol W.
Perceptions of power identified with upper level, noninstructional staff (professional staff) in a complex university were studied based on interviews with professional staff, their superordinates and subordinates, and faculty. Professional staff offices included the upper echelon of the nonacademic staff hierarchy holding such titles as assistant to the president, vice president, or dean, and director, controller, or registrar. The university was perceived as a predominantly political organization within which professional staff hold substantial power to influence the actions of other offices and to influence the development and the administration of institutional policies. Professional staff power was generally based upon their control and interpretation of information--their role as information brokers. Perceptions of professional staff strategies did vary, however, with the organizational relationship of the target office to the professional staff offices and the situation (whether the professional staff was trying to influence the actions of the other party in an initial situation or in a last resort situation). Additional findings are as follows: respondents in each sample were aware of, and satisfied with, the overriding political structure of the university organization; professional staff did not feel that academic policy-making rights are appropriate rights for their office; and the perspective of the president, vice president, and dean superordinates were more apt to be in agreement with those of the professional staff than with those of academic department heads or faculty. A bibliography is included. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Washington, DC, March 3-4, 1981).