The paucity of empirical or conceptual knowledge about the organization and administration of postsecondary institutions was noted by Henderson (1963) and McConnell (1963) more than a decade ago. This lack of scientific curiosity has been documented indirectly by the omission of postsecondary institutions from the comprehensive summary of organizational research edited by March (1965). More recent assessments of research findings in this field clearly suggest that little progress has been realized in the intervening years. Reviews and critiques of research evidence on how colleges and universities are structured and operated indicate that this lack of progress has been due primarily to the tendency of researchers to base their inquiries on common sense and pragmatic criteria and their failure to employ empirical approaches to develop or test theoretical models (Corwin, 1974; Peterson, 1974; Richman and Farmer, 1974). The dearth of organizational knowledge about postsecondary institutions has repeatedly been attributed to the absence of appro- priate conceptual models to guide substantive inquiries (Cohen and March, 1974; Gross and Grambsch, 1974). Studies based on the bureaucratic (Page, 1951; Stroup, 1966), COllegid O human relar tions (Goodman, 1962; Millett, 1962), and political (Baldridge, 1971) models have failed to gain general acceptance, since
New Directions for Institutional Research – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1976
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