Sunday, September 30, 2012
Administrative Bloat and Institutional Power Structures
I have been struck recently by the relationship between the construction of administrative apparatus and its direct effects on the power relations among important stakeholders in an organization. More importantly, I have noticed the way that manipulation of administrative structures can successfully change governance cultures from ones that are more collegial and transparent to ones that are more hierarchical and closed. And most important, I would posit that these changes can be undertaken without changing the outward structure of institutional norms. I had thought this set of relationships were unique to the institutional transitions from Republic and Imperial organization in Rome, but I am beginning to think there is much to learn there.
(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 20'12)
For a consideration of these issues within the American university, see, Administrative Bloat by Deans and Other Unit Administrators--An Overlooked but Important Source of Direct Attack on Shared Governance; and Administrative Bloat and Managing Faculty-Administrative Conflict; Address of J. Paul Robinson, Chair of the Purdue University Faculty Senate