Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Donald C. Weaver

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Anne Bunda

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger L. Wallace


This study was designed for three purposes. First, an instrument, called the Time Allocation Inventory (TAI), was developed for community education directors to use in estimating the effects of allocating time to activities often classified as time wasters. Second, the reliability and types of information produced by two methods of scoring responses to the instrument were compared. Third, the effects of two different sets of conditions on responses to the instrument were investigated.

A time waster was defined as an activity which, in relation to another activity, is less effective in accomplishing desired goals or objectives within a specified time period. TAI respondents estimated how often each of 35 interruptions occurred in a typical work situation, and rated how much each interruption interfered with accomplishing goals. Each item was then coded as a minor interruption, nuisance, crisis or chronic time waster according to a set of scoring rules.

Two independent variables were studied. It was hypothesized that clarification of one's job-related priorities would influence one's responses to the TAI. It was also hypothesized that directors' responses to the TAI would show more potential difficulty with allocating time than responses made by directors simulating a hypothetical ideal director.

Four groups of ten community education directors in Michigan and Ohio completed the TAI under different conditions. Two groups completed a Priorities Exercise based on tasks for a community education director before completing the TAI; the other groups did not complete the Exercise. Two groups completed the TAI under instructions to describe their own situation; two groups were instructed to complete the TAI as they believed a hypothetical ideal director would complete it. All groups completed a questionnaire on experience that they had had with time allocation and a brief questionnaire on their reactions to the TAI. Primary data were analyzed in a two-way analysis of variance.

The TAI had satisfactory estimates of internal consistency for both methods of scoring.

Completion of the Priorities Exercise did affect responses to the TAI. Those who completed it said that they were interrupted more frequently, and they had fewer crisis items and more chronic items.

Directors did not describe themselves as having more difficulty in allocating time than perceived ideal directors would have. In fact, the data tended to show the opposite.

Those with more experience in time management indicated that they had more difficulty in allocating time. There was some evidence to suggest that community educators may show more concern for allocating time effectively than other educational administrators.

Implications of this study for community education directors are discussed in terms of accountability to an organization, reducing effects of time wasters, and including instruction in time allocation in a community education curriculum. Some implications of this study for other educational administrators and for the development of theory in educational administration are also discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access