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Organization And Administration In Higher Education

1435 words - 6 pages

1. Satisficing: describes any situation in which people settle with a solution that is rationally just “good enough" to a problem. In a rational decision-making process, it is assumed that individuals seek the best result; however, it is often rational to seek to satisfice if the process of searching for better option involves risks, prolonged effort, or is costly. Individual and organizations, therefore, satisfice when they seek, or accept choices or judgments that are rationally 'good enough' for their purposes, but the same situation could still be optimized (Interaction-Design.org ,2004). The conventional wisdom is that, it is better to satisfice than to be seen as not taking a decision at all.
Higher educational institutions structurally functions like a factory, and many crisis situations (e.g. faculty appointments, infrastructural maintenance works, etc ) are solved through satisficing. For example, appointment of interim or acting officers to fill vacant administrative positions in academic departments (e.g. college dean, department chair, etc.) is a case of satisficing. Another area where satisficing is common is in athletics and sports. For instance, when athletics, football, or basketball coaches are fired for poor results, they are quickly replaced by one of the associates while a search for replacement begins. The temporary appointments are considered worthwhile in view of the administrative functions that the occupier performs. Such temporary appointments are palliative remedies to the laborious and costly search and selection process.
The current economic situation is assumed to exacerbate satisficing in postsecondary institutions. With dwindling resources, many public colleges and universities are rationalizing appointments and doing “good enough” jobs in building maintenance and infrastructural repairs. Similar rationale could be adduced to the appointment of adjunct faculty. Appointment of adjunct or part-time faculty is to ensure that course work, especially teaching, does not grind to a halt when there are vacancies. These appointments are alternatives to a practical most obvious solution of making a permanent appointment. The temporary appointment guarantees that there is no vacuum either in the discharge of academic administrative duties or teaching.
While satisficing may be appealing in the short-run, conversely, it does not guarantee commitment and loyalty to the system, as the individual and their colleagues do not treat or see such appointment as permanent. The implication in the long run is that it projects a picture of an indecisive management, and an institution that is unstable.

2. Organizations such as universities, general hospitals, school systems, public accounting firms, etc., are termed professional bureaucracy because of their structural configurations. In such organizations, duly trained professionals form the operating core, and they are given considerable control over their work, but the prime...

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