Effects of a management-by-objectives system in public two-year community colleges

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Carter, Meredith L. (Meredith Lee), 1936-
Patton, Don C.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purpose of the study was to determine how, and to what extent, operation under a Management-by-Objectives (MBO) system has affected administrative units and individual participants in public two-year community colleges.The research was planned to answer the following questions:1. How often were goal-setting meetings and progress evaluation meetings held?2. What were the effects of a Management-by-Objectives system on formal contacts-between subordinates and superiors as perceived by public community college administrators?3. What were the effects of goal-setting conferences between subordinates and superiors as perceived by public community college administrators?4. How does the Management-by-Objectives program effect participation of community college administrators in decision-making?5. What were the effects of MBO on communication within the organization?6. How did the Management-by-Objectives program affect individual and organizational performance?7. What factors might be responsible for both the negative and positive attitudes toward a Management-by-Objectives system as perceived by public community college administrators?8. What was the scope and intensity of management training needed to implement a Management-byObjectives program as perceived by public community college administrators?9. Which variables (on the questionnaire given) were found" to be statistically significant predictors of administrative attitudes toward a Management-by-Objectives program?Administrators from a total of 32 public two-year community colleges that were operating under a Management-by-Objectives system indicated a willingness to participate in the study. Chief administrators of the 32 colleges aggregately supplied the names of 283 administrators to be surveyed through confidential questionnaires. The instruments were coded to identify the various administrative units: code one represented the Administrative Affairs Unit; code two the Community Services Unit; code three the Instructional Affairs Unit; code four the Student Services Unit, code five the Research and Development Unit, and code six represented Community College Presidents. A total of 200 instruments (71 percent) were returned.Tables were formulated to summarize responses to individual items according to the administrative units. Total responses, percent of totals, and average response for each administrative unit were reported in each table. An average response figure was calculated in order to provide a measure of the relative strength of responses in each administrative unit.Statistical processing of the data consisted of the Pearson product-moment coefficient of correlation to determine whether relationships existed between selected variables. Also, a stepwise multiple-regression analysis employing the attitude of the administrator toward the MBO system as a dependent variable was utilized to identify which, if any, among the 25 independent variables selected served as significant predictors of administrative attitudes toward an MBO program. In both statistical processes an .05 level was established as significant.Major findings permitted the following conclusions to be drawn:1. Attitudes of community college administrators toward the MBO program were favorable.2. Negative reactions toward the MBO program were perceived to be-generated by increased time pressures, increased paperwork, and difficulty in setting educational objectives.3. The variables identified which serve as significant predictors of administrator attitudes toward the MBO program were:a. Effective as a means for planning and organizing work for which an administrator is accountable.b. Effective as a means for evaluating work performance.c. Effective in improving satisfaction with being more a part of decisions.d. Effective in improving the attitudes of the superior toward the Management-by-Objectives program as perceived by subordinates.