ERIC Number: ED394568
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Feb
A Funny Thing Hapenned on the Way to the Future: Regenerating Our Academic Institutions.
The development of modern planning theories and strategies, as applied to higher education, has been both contentious and inconsistent. Planning originated as a management function and responsibility, but by the 1960s, analysts, statisticians, and strategists were providing the rationales for the major planning decisions. The inflexibility of rational planning to change led to its discredit in the following decade and by the early 1980s, strategic planning was in the forefront of planning theory. The ongoing challenge for planners has been to find a balance among the intuition, judgments, values, and analytic processes necessary for effective decision-making and to make the planning climate congenial to creative, conceptual, and enthusiastic thinking. Planners have had to concede that planning must be recursive rather than a linear sequential activity, and that change requires structural rather than merely incremental responses. Higher education has experimented with a number of planning approaches intended to introduce more quantifiable data into decision-making processes, including management-by-objectives and zero-based budgeting, but the complexity and time-intensity of these approaches, as well as their unsuitability to academic culture, have limited their success. A successful organizational strategy should focus on quality improvement but also accept discontinuity as a fact of organizational life. Specifically, such a strategy should create foresight, develop scenarios to help groups think about the future, promote leadership, assume that quality is the goal, and maintain flexibility. Contains 33 references. (TGI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: The Olympics of Leadership: Overcoming Obstacles, Balancing Skills, Taking Risks. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the National Community College Chair Academy (5th, Phoenix, AZ, February 14-17, 1996); see JC 960 276.