How Colleges Work : The Cybernetics of Academic Organization and Leadership

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1991-07-29
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $5.25
    Check/Direct Deposit: $5.00
List Price: $45.00 Save up to $33.76
  • Rent Book $11.24
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


One of the best theoretical and applied analyses of university academic organization and leadership in print. This book is significant because it is not only thoughtfully developed and based on careful reading of the extensive literature on leadership and governance, but it is also deliberately intAnded to enable the author to bridge the gap between theories of organization, on one hand, and practical application, on the other. ?Journal of Higher Education

Table of Contents

Preface xiii(6)
The Author xix
Part One: Understanding Colleges and Universities as Organizations 1(82)
1. Problems of Governance, Management, and Leadership in Academic Institutions
Problems of Governance: Trustees and Faculty; Administrators and Faculty; Normative Statements on Governance
Problems of Organization: Dualism of Controls; Mission and Management; Power, Compliance, and Control
Institutional and Organizational Constraints: Institutions and Environments; Decentralization; Inflexibility of Resources; Confusion of Organizational Levels; Cosmopolitans and Locals: Prestige and Rank; Other Organizational Differences
The Problem of Leadership: Leadership Theories; Social Exchange Theory; Leadership as Symbol; Leadership and Environments
The Nature of Academic Organization--A Summary
2. Thinking in Systems and Circles: The Structure and Dynamics of Academic Organizations
The Nature of Systems: Interacting Components; Boundaries; Inputs and Outputs; Types of Systems
Tight and Loose Coupling: Functions and Dysfunctions of Loosely Coupled Systems; Coupling and Survival
The Contingency Approach: The Environment of Colleges and Universities; The Technical Subsystem of Colleges and Universities; Differences in Institutional Governance and Management
Thinking in Circles
Implications for Administrators: Cause and Effect; Time and Administrative Behavior; Predictability; Differences Between Institutions; The Need for Unlearning
3. Making Decisions and Making Sense: The Administrator's Role
Being Rational: Problems of Calculation and Comparison; Satisficing; Goals and Rationality; Effectiveness and Rationality; The Rational Institution
Being Sensible: The Meaning of Organizing; How Organizing Takes Place; Sharing Meanings; Retrospective Sense Making
Institutional Culture: Efficiency, Ceremony, and Management: Forces for Cultural Similarity; Forces for Cultural Differences; Cultural Distinctiveness; Culture and Environment; Myths and Management
Implications for the Administrator as Decision Maker or Sense Maker
Part Two: Models of Organizational Functioning 83(92)
4. The Collegial Institution: Sharing Power and Values in a Community of Equals
Heritage College as a Collegial System
Characteristics of Collegial Systems
Loops of Interaction in Collegial Systems
Tight and Loose Coupling in Collegial Systems
Effective Leadership in Collegial Systems: Live Up to the Norms of the Group; Conform to Group Expectations of Leadership; Use Established Channels of Communication; Do Not Give an Order That Will Not Be Obeyed; Listen; Reduce Status Differences; Encourage Self-Control
5. The Bureaucratic Institution: Rationalizing Structure and Decision Making
People's Community College as a Bureaucratic System
Characteristics of Bureaucratic Systems
Loops of Interaction in Bureaucratic Systems
Tight and Loose Coupling in Bureaucratic Systems
Effective Leadership in Bureaucratic Systems
6. The Political Institution: Competing for Power and Resources
Regional State University as a Political System
Characteristics of Political Systems
Loops of Interaction in Political Systems: Coalitions; Negotiations
Tight and Loose Coupling in Political Systems
Leadership in Political Systems: Clarifying Group Values; Reducing the Cost of Participation
7. The Anarchical Institution: Finding Meaning in a Community of Autonomous Actors
Flagship University as an Anarchical System
Characteristics of Anarchical Systems: Problematic Goals; Unclear Technology; Fluid Participation
Loops of Interaction in Anarchical Systems
Tight and Loose Coupling in Anarchical Systems: Problems; Solutions; Participants; Garbage-Can Decision Making
Effective Leadership in Anarchical Systems: Spend Time; Persist; Exchange Status for Substance; Facilitate Opposition Participation; Overload the System; Provide Garbage Cans; Manage Unobtrusively; Interpret History
Part Three: Integrating the Models 175(56)
8. The Cybernetic Institution: Providing Direction Through Self-Regulation
Characteristics of Cybernetic Systems: Thermostats and Feedback Loops; Goals and Subunits; Limiting Uncertainty; Responding to Feedback; Changing Behavior; Collecting Data; The Subunit-Organization Hierarchy: Goals and Controls
Loops of Interaction in Cybernetic Systems
Tight and Loose Coupling in Cybernetic Systems
Effective Leadership in Cybernetic Systems: Management by Exception; Designing Systems; Directive Cybernetic Leadership; Administrative Intervention; The Role of Analysis; Principles for the Cybernetic Leader
9. Effective Administration and Leadership in the Cybernetic Institution
Leading Cybernetically
Complicating the Controller
Learning Accurately
Administering Cybernetically: Persistence and Flexibility; Undermanaging and Overmanaging; Remembering and Forgetting
Balancing Administration
References 231(14)
Index 245

Rewards Program

Write a Review