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|Additional Physical Format:||Spencer, Patricia.
Integration of planning/decision-making processes within the community college : supporting and inhibiting forces.
|Material Type:||Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource|
|Document Type:||Internet Resource, Computer File|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
|Reproduction Notes:||Electronic reproduction. [Ann Arbor, Mich.] : ProQuest, 2011. Mode of access: World Wide Web. Access restricted to subscribing institutions.|
|Description:||xvii, 301 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm|
|Responsibility:||by Patricia A. Spencer.|
This study of a community college describes, compares, and contrasts how the three planning/decision-making processes should work as depicted in the "ideal type" derived from the research literature with how they work as determined by the data. Using a conventional field study methodology, data gathered over a ten month period include extensive document analysis, systematic observations, and interviews of policy-makers, planners, and decision-makers whose responsibilities reach from the top of the system to the community college faculty. The research objectives are to: (1) determine the extent to which integration among the planning/decision-making processes occurs in community college practice, and (2) identify the forces that affect the level to which a college is able to integrate these processes.
Given the turbulent environment in which today's community colleges exist, models of linear planning are insufficient. Reconceptualization requires that one "break out" of the linear paradigm and consider a model depicting a formalized, integrated structure. As this study points out, achieving integration is complicated by many forces. Within the external environment these forces include: (1) an absence of role models, (2) a fixation on facilities planning, (3) a tendency of external agencies to contradict each other, (4) a lack of power to mandate integrated practice, (5) local level autonomy, (6) a lack of accountability measures, and (7) unstable and uncertain funding. Within the internal environment these forces include: (1) multiple and rigid formal organizational structures, (2) an absence of synchronized planning cycles, (3) the lack of participant expertise or training, (4) distracting sociopolitical interactions, (5) detracting informal communication patterns, (6) turf protection practices, (7) heavy workloads, and (8) an inappropriate balance of power.
Based on understanding the forces affecting the levels of integration attained by community colleges, the study concludes with propositions and recommendations designed to more effectively guide future practice.