ERIC Number: ED402842
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Observations on Boundary Spanning and Culture in Higher Education: An Exploratory Study of a Start-up Organization. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Siegel, David J.; Carchidi, Daniel M.
This study examined an institution that is in the process of developing programs and organizations to meet the new challenges faced by higher education. It reviewed the evolution of a new, boundary-spanning organization at a major research university from the perspective of the persons involved. The study looked at the experiences of the people within the organization, at how these experiences reflect a growing professional culture, and at the lessons to be learned by others in similar situations. Cross-sectional ethnographic data were gathered through observations of meetings, interviews, and content analysis of internal documents. Analysis found the data clustered around the following themes: (1) role ambiguity, (2) image management, (3) cultural differences between the study group and other campus units, (4) composition of the study group, and (5) external community service roles. Findings suggest that administrators and faculty will have to: spend considerable time managing constituencies; attend to how people communicate; avoid judging new organizations by conventional standards; and learn to be comfortable with ambiguity. The paper calls for a new language to address the emerging boundary-spanning organizational cultures. (Contains 18 references.) (CH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A