ERIC Number: ED245653
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Strength of Coupling in the Organization and Operation of Colleges and Universities.
Clark, David; And Others
The question of whether institutions of higher education (IHEs) behave as loosely or tightly coupled systems was investigated. Organizational coupling was defined as the relationship that exists between or among elements (variables) in an organizational system. A taxonomic approach was employed to develop a sample set of indicators of the strength of the relationship between specified organizational elements. Attention was directed to edificial elements of coupling, functional elements, and procedural elements. Coupling was found to have a quantitative dimension (i.e., the simple frequency of an interaction), as well as a qualitative dimension that was part of the textural description of coupling within an organization. Qualitative measures of coupling included reliability, responsiveness, and dependency. It is argued that interactions need to be described in relation to the qualitative criteria before the texture of coupling in an IHE can be portrayed. Illustrative queries on coupling are included that cover data sources and elements relevant to interactions between professors and department chairpersons, budgeting, planning, needs assessment, and program innovation. Recommendations for technical and empirical research on coupling are briefly addressed. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on Research and Thought in Educational Administration (New Brunswick, NJ, April 7-8, 1983). Tables have small print.