ERIC Number: ED208714
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Report on a Practical Instrument for Analyzing Effectiveness and Group Dynamics of Academic Committees.
McNulty, Lynda J.; Seagren, Alan J.
A study was undertaken to analyze the group processes in academic committee meetings, focusing on committee member perceptions of the processes and their effectiveness. Such committees are traditional in higher education, and have long been considered the most efficient and democratic decision-making method. However, they have been criticized as inefficient because they are slow, waste time and money, tend to dissipate responsibility, frequently result in indecision, and often reach decisions that are mediocre compromises. Understanding of group dynamics can help improve faculty committees and their behavior. A questionnaire was pilot-tested at an Australian university, and then sent to all 183 of the 23 officially recognized faculty senate committees of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; 104 usable responses were received. Responses were scored and a weighting formula was used for computation of item means. Five significant implications surfaced from the study, related to developing committee members' proficiency in (1) evaluating group meeting processes, (2) using a variety of group leadership skills, (3) using controlled group process methods, (4) systematically obtaining feedback on the extent of decision-making efforts, and (5) clarifying task assignments. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; University of Nebraska Lincoln
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 1981).