ERIC Number: ED270071
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Jun
Predictors of Organizational Responses to Decline.
Parker, Barbara; Zammuto, Raymond F.
Results of research on predictors of organizational responses to declining enrollments at 56 small to medium-sized colleges and universities are discussed. Decline was experienced from 1978-1979 to 1981-1982. Severity of decline was selected as an objective predictor of organizational response, while internal agreement on mission and attributions of cause, controllability, and stability of decline were selected as subjective predictors of response. Two types of responses were examined: those that emphasize efficiency (operating responses) and those that represent a change in product/market mix (strategic responses). Path analysis indicated that severity of decline was not directly related to the types of responses that the organizations take following a period of decline. Instead, agreement on mission had a direct negative effect on both operating and strategic types of responses, and this effect increased as the result of the mediating perceptual variables of control and stability. Perceived cause of decline and other perceptual variables were useful in predicting types of response. Comparing subject and objective predictors of responses to decline revealed that agreement on mission is a better predictor of response than is severity of decline. Implications for future research are offered. Five pages of references are included. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Boulder, CO.