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ERIC Number: ED546313
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 228
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-2480-2
Mission-Based Management in Higher Education: How Do Academic Department Chairpersons Align Decision-Making with Their Organizational Mission?
Hlavac, Craig
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Hartford
The academic department chairperson continues to face significant challenges in the administration of the contemporary university. Due to retrenchment resultant from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), higher education has already faced significant financial cutbacks, and more reductions seem inevitable. Particularly susceptible are publicly-funded institutions; as state tax revenues often do not occur until the end stages of economic recovery (Geiger, 2010), state universities will continue to face budget constraints. As the academic department is often severely affected by the reduction of resources (Tucker, 1992), the study of how department chairpersons make decisions is more important now than ever before. However, although plentiful scholarly research has been reported regarding the roles of the chairperson (Bennett, 1983; Chu, 2006; Conway, 1996; Hecht, Higgerson, Gmelch, & Tucker, 1999; Lucas, 1994; Tucker, 1992), department chair decision-making has not been widely studied. Furthermore, the impact of the organizational mission on the decision-making of department chairpersons has not been presented in the literature. The purpose of this exploratory, qualitative interview study was to examine academic department chairperson (n = 12) reports of how they aligned decision-making with their organizational mission. Using the Brinckerhoff (2009) "mission-based manager" profile as the conceptual framework, this study examined how department chairpersons reported applying balance, innovation, motivation, and communication (Brinckerhoff, 2009) while making decisions that were aligned with the organizational mission. Additionally, this study examined how department chairpersons reported making decisions while meeting the expectations of several levels of the organization. Analysis of 18 findings revealed several themes regarding the decision-making of department chairpersons. Respondents reported difficulty balancing their many roles, motivating faculty toward common goals, mitigating pressures to financially contribute to the organization, and understanding their function within the organizational hierarchy. Additionally, 11 of 12 respondents reported prioritizing the mission of the department above all other university-based missions. Recommendations for future practice include training and mentorship for new chairpersons, professional development for all chairpersons, the implementation of departmental evaluations based on the mission, and several suggestions for future research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A