ERIC Number: ED246774
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
An Empirical Evaluation of Boundary Spanning as a Conceptual Framework for Examining the Organizational Roles of Offices of Institutional Research. AIR Annual 1984 Forum Paper.
Middaugh, Michael F.
Boundary spanning in colleges as evidenced through the activity of offices of institutional research was studied. Literature in organization theory suggests that those institutions that adapt most rapidly to changes in their external environment are those that establish formal structures (boundary spanning roles) for monitoring that environment. Two hypotheses were tested: offices of institutional research are primary boundary spanners in postsecondary institutions; and the manner in which the office is structured and staffed is related to the overall adaptability of the institutions. The study sample consisted of 173 public and private colleges in nine northeast and mid-Atlantic states. In addition to collecting demographic information concerning the institution and the boundary role incumbent, the structure of the role was assessed (whether an institutional research office exists, and the number of roles held by the office incumbent). The survey also focused on trend data on enrollment and workload as a measure of boundary flexibility, and on the professionalization of the boundary role as measured by training, professional authority, and demonstrable professional culture. Study findings and implications for colleges faced with environmental uncertainty are discussed. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum; Boundary Spanning
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (24th, Fort Worth, TX, May 6-9, 1984).