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ERIC Number: ED301114
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Pages: 273
Abstractor: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-1-55542-126-1
How Colleges Work. The Cybernetics of Academic Organization and Leadership.
Birnbaum, Robert
Ideas that may help college and university administrators develop a more coherent and integrated view of the institutions they inhabit and, therefore, be more effective as they work in them are presented. Suggestions are made to help them think in more complex ways about their work and improving their performance. Thoughts are based on ideas that have been developed by many scholars in a number of fields over a period of more than 50 years. Ideas are presented in nine chapters in the following three sections: (1) understanding colleges and universities as organizations (problems of governance, management, and leadership in academic institutions; thinking in systems and circles: the structure and dynamics of academic organizations; and making decisions and making sense: the administrator's role); (2) models of organizational functioning (the collegial institution: sharing power and values in a community of equals; the bureaucratic institution: rationalizing structure and decision making; the political institution: competing for power and resources; and the anarchical institution: finding meaning in a community of autonomous actors); and (3) integrating the models (the cybernetic institution: providing direction through self-regulation and effective administration and leadership in the cybernetic institution). Contains 187 references. (SM)
Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers, 350 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104 ($22.95).
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Postsecondary Governance and Finance, Tempe, AZ.