Academic staff perceptions of administrative quality at universities

Year: 2001

Author: Waugh, Russell

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Abstract:
This is a theoretical paper that gives direction as to how Administrative Quality at a university can be measured on an interval scale. The measure is based on a model of academic staff perceptions in relation to Central, Faculty or School administration (as the case may be). The Australian government has set up a new Australian University Quality Agency in 2001 and one of its objectives is to measure quality in administration (management). Academic staff perceptions of Administrative Quality are proposed to consist of two 1st order aspects, operationally defined by a number of 2nd order aspects. These are: Reliability and Responsiveness (Administrative Contact, Provision of Administrative Material, Confident and Dependable Administrative Advice and Advanced Notice of Administrative Changes), and Assurance and Empathy (Courteousness and Confidence in Contact, Individual and Understanding Contact and Feeling Secure Contact). The 21 stem-items measuring each 2nd order aspect are set up in Guttman patterns, conceptually ordered by increasing ‘difficulty’. Academics are asked to respond to each of the 21 stem-items in two parts, conceptually ordered from ‘easy’ to ‘hard’: Ideally, this is what I think my university administration should do (‘easy’), and This is what my university administration actually does (‘hard’). This model has been pilot tested successfully with a small sample (N=27) and is now ready for a full test.

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