ERIC Number: ED284606
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May
Reference Count: 0
Models of Organization and Governance at the Community College.
In order to provide the best management model for the effective and efficient operation of community colleges, it is useful to look briefly at management theories. The three principle theories in use in corporate management are: (1) theory X, involving an autocratic supervisor allowing for minimal group influence; (2) theory Y, in which supervisory style is democratic allowing for a considerable degree of group decision making; and (3) theory Z, which may be called "pure" democracy, allowing for total group decision making and placing the supervisor in a rotational role with staff. Community college functioning contains elements of all three theories; for example, a department chair has a leadership role, and yet is part of a consensus body. While most business organizations are goal oriented, colleges tend to be more vague about their particular goals, giving them an unusual flexibility. Furthermore, the professional orientation of university faculty tends to undercut traditional norms of bureaucracy. Thus, a specific theory termed "organized anarchy" has been used to describe the functioning of colleges. The term derives from the combined elements of "the academic bureaucracy" (leader as hero), the "university as a political system" (leader as negotiator), and the "university collegium" (leader as first among equals). In fact, these theories mesh closely with X, Y, and Z, respectively. It seems that effective and efficient operation of community colleges should involve an eclectic meshing of various elements and models. (PAA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Princeton Univ., NJ. Mid-Career Fellowship Program.
Note: One of the series "Essays by Fellows" on "Policy Issues at the Community College."