Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Engaging in synergy: Translating the blue skies of effective administrative resource management into sustainable implementation and continuous improvement
by Williams-Slaughter, Maria E., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2012, 211; 3530682
Abstract (Summary)

Colleges and universities have become accustom to handling the ebbs and flows of an economic cycle by implementing temporary solutions during unfavorable fiscal periods and then returning to business as usual when budgets are restored to normal levels. The 2008-09 Recession brought unprecedented financial chaos to higher education and highlighted the need for a transformational change within the Academy.

The California State University System (CSU) is the nation's largest public postsecondary institution. Each of its 23 campuses has a unique geographic and curricular character, making it exceedingly difficult to achieve significant cost reductions in academic and student programs. Tangible opportunities to implement creative and focused strategies exist within the more ubiquitous campus administrative service functions, and the CSU has introduced the Synergy Initiative (Synergy) in order to leverage resources, lower overall costs, and improve operations in support of the system's core values.

The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived level of functionality associated with administrative services and uncover factors that would drive improved efficiency and effectiveness between departments and among campuses. Based on a framework of Total Quality Management (TQM) and in the context of Synergy, the researcher constructed a 34 question survey that was completed by 167 stakeholders. The study concluded that the CSU displays a propensity to collaborate in shared services and best practice initiatives, and that open, honest, relevant and continual communication will play a critical role in successfully translating the blue skies of effective administrative resource management into sustainable implementation and continuous improvement. Based on the findings, the researcher provides recommendations for strategic planning and operational modifications.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murray, John
Commitee:
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership
Keywords: Administrative resource management, Continuous improvement, Sustainable implementation
Publication Number: 3530682
ISBN: 978-1-267-70366-8
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