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ERIC Number: ED547732
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 120
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-7933-4
Reflective Decision Making among University Department Heads across Academic Disciplines
Kampmann, Jennifer A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
Within the scope of leadership and management, decision making greatly defines the role of university administrator, in particular, the university department head and his/her ability to be a reflective practitioner in the realm of decision making. Decision making is one characteristic of university department head work which warrants close attention as the ramifications of hastily made decisions can affect the function of the departmental unit. While a great deal of research exists concerning top university administrators' decision-making effectiveness, such as university presidents and vice presidents, little has been written on the unique role of department head, or middle level university administrator. A phenomenological study of department heads was conducted to examine the extent to which department heads are familiar with, understand, and engage in reflective decision making. A researcher-developed survey instrument was used to collect phenomenological data from a purposeful sample of seven Midwestern, public university department heads. Data were analyzed for common themes and understandings regarding reflective decision making practices. The findings in this study suggest department heads across academic disciplines are familiar with, understand, and engage in reflective decision making however a variety of external variables effect their ability to use reflective decision making on a regular basis. Factors found to affect reflective decision making for the participants in this study included who was asking for the decision, the sensitivity in the information needed for the decision, the ability of the department head to engage faculty in the decision making process, the deadline for the decision, and what groups of people the results of the decision may impact. In addition, common themes of compression of duties, decision making by design, and struggles with transitional leadership were gleaned from participant interviews. [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