Date of Award

8-1980

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Griffeth

Second Advisor

Dr. John Nangle

Third Advisor

Dr. Ed Trembley

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the decision-making (DM) process used by chief student personnel administrators within universities from the perspective of both the chief administrator and his/her subordinates. The relation between DM method and several situational variables was examined. A comparison was made between the chief student personnel administrators' perceptions of their DM methods and the subordinates' perceptions of the chiefs' DM methods, and subordinates' perceived and preferred DM methods were compared. Also, the chief administrators' DM methods were studied in relation to: the importance of the situation as judged by subordinates and chiefs; span of control of the chief; and, frequency of occurrence of situations.

A sample of 35 chief student personnel administrators and 154 of their subordinates from institutions in Region IV-East of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators participated in the study. Each participant completed a copy of the research questionnaire that was designed for the study. The research questionnaire contained 26 specific problem situations to which each participant responded by indicating his/her perception of the chief administrator's DM methods. The results of the completed questionnaires were used in the analysis of the data and the testing of hypotheses.

The results of the study indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between the chiefs' perceived DM methods and the subordinates' perceptions of the chiefs' DM methods. Subordinates indicated that they would prefer to have more influence in the DM process than they perceived themselves to have. Chief administrators varied the DM methods they used depending on the importance rating they gave to situations. The chiefs' DM methods were not found to be statistically dependent on either the span of control of the chief or the frequency with which situations were encountered by chiefs.

The results of the study verified two of the five research hypotheses. Subordinates preferred chief student personnel administrators to use less centralized DM methods than they perceived the chiefs using. The DM methods of the chiefs were dependent on the importance of the situation as rated by the chief. There was a tendency on the part of subordinates to rate virtually all decision situations as important and this was interpreted by the author as an inability on the part of subordinates to discriminate between situations. Descriptive frequency data suggested that span of control of chiefs and frequency with which situations were encountered may have had an influence on the DM methods used by the chiefs.

Recommendations concerned the further investigation of the degree of agreement between chiefs and subordinates as to the DM methods of chiefs and the investigation of the inability of subordinates to discriminate between situations on the basis of importance. Also, a recommendation was made to analyze the DM of chief student personnel administrators at private institutions of higher education. Finally, the influence of the individual and his/her values on the DM methods of chief student personnel administrators should be investigated.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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