ERIC Number: ED385188
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
The Stressful Journey of the Department Chair: An Academic in Need of a Compass and Clock.
Gmelch, Walter H.; Gates, Gordon S.
This study examined the relationship between five stress factors (faculty role, administrative relationship, role ambiguity, perceived expectations, and administrative task) and specific personal, positional, and organizational variables in relation to their effect on the roles of department chairpersons. Using a chair stress index, administrative role questionnaire, chair task inventory, general information questionnaire, and an organizational and departmental ratings questionnaire, 523 department chairs at research and doctorate-granting universities throughout the United States were surveyed. The study found that the less role ambiguity as well as role conflict, and the more satisfaction chairs derived from their position, the less stress they tended to experience. Chairpersons who rated their institutions highly experienced lower levels of faculty role stress, administrative relationship stress, role ambiguity stress, and administrative task stress than chairs who did not. Multiple regression analysis showed that three independent variables (intrinsic reasons for accepting the position, total satisfaction with the position, and role conflict) had a significant role on faculty role stress. Age, years of experience, and gender were found to have little effect on chairperson stress. (Contains 86 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Role, Age Differences, College Faculty, Department Heads, Higher Education, Job Satisfaction, Multiple Regression Analysis, National Surveys, Research Universities, Role Conflict, Role Perception, School Attitudes, Sex Differences, Stress Management, Stress Variables
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).