You are on page 1of 9



Leadership in faculty cells, a proposal for an organizational model in a campus.

Organizational Theories Jesús Héctor Gaytán Polanco - 23114341
Dr. Pedro Márquez Pérez
México, D.F., Octubre del 2010

In the organizational literature are multiple levels of analysis, approaches, models and theories that explain the evolution
of organizations, such as general systems theory, deterministic chaos theory, the theory of evolution, the theory of
dependence, among others, to reach the network theory highlights the importance of interaction of organizations to
manage the resource dependency, exchange knowledge, among others. (Yourdon, 1989)

There are various approaches that have been adopted and studied when investigating different organizational
phenomena, theoretical approaches which, in turn, explain the justification and creation of organizational networks,
since the conceptualization of organizations as organizational networks, have a direct correlation, since both are content
under the concept of open systems. (Chiavenato, 1992)

Known authors in the organizational area as Morgan (1999), Nonaka (2008), Senge (2001), and others have raised the
desirability of using different metaphors organizational approaches, paradigmatic and theoretical approaches, as a
methodological strategy in the study and diagnosis of organizations, with determined to be more understanding and
analysis of the complexity of the subject matter.

The apprehension and conceptualization of the organizational, given how complex it requires a theoretical pluralism that
store and integrate the different dimensions considered in the theoretical approach: Financial and Administrative
Systems and Political Interactions. (Denzin, 2003)

As thoughtful contribution argues that during the last century saw many theoretical approaches to the study of
organizations, which have served as a reference point in the study of organizational networks. Each of these approaches
is to explain the complexity of organizations at different times and contexts, students of world organizations have played
a key role, it involves a choice or bias, to various aspects that vary according to the objectives pursued and paradigmatic
framework from which benchmarks.

Approaches, models and organizational theories, explaining that organizations in the conceptualization of the systemic
approach, given to understand that every organization is a dynamic system that responds to ongoing changes in their
environment, which may limit the application of approaches perennial and universal theories and therefore there will

always be new elements that seek to explain the dynamics of organizations and thus the formation of organizational

Speaking of Organizational Theory is not just talking about the evolution of organizations, but also delves into the
intricacies of human development and their wishes and needs of leadership and control. It is not possible to separate
these two elements since after all, an organization consists of human beings and the vast majority of cases, they convey
to the organization, both its virtues and defects. We can take as example the governments, especially the latin-american
ones at the end of the XX century, where we can find that examples like Cuba, Venezuela or Argentina where the
organizational structure has evolved in some power cells that reflect the personality of their leaders and become in some
cases more “personal” that the leader itself.

Based on the theories outlined by McGregor (2005) who describe the need of a sensitive and skillful membership
behavior as the key of an effective organization, Selznick (1984) who say that only "legitimate" leadership is long-term
viable in our society and Downs (1993) who explain to us the “classes” that conform a bureaucracy, we can find a lot of
students of administration have tried to discover what the best practices and best systems for organizations to survive
natural processes of evolution and personal characteristics of the leader’s organization. These theories have examined
different circumstances and different systems that have been developed mainly by the context in which organizations
have been developed, finding in them an evolution that started from the absolute authority of the structure to models of
leadership and organization far more planes where the leader's role has evolved to become a "manager" of processes and
enabling pulse.

Considering Selznick (pp 5 y 6), who established the concept of organizational change to the institution through the
acquisition of specific values, the development of an organizational culture itself becomes an element of permanence
distinctive both for the institutions, making them stronger contextual changes that can not be avoided (External
Influences, Porter, 1998), while offering the ability to be flexible enough to the same changes. (Peters and Waterman,

However, the arguments presented by Peters and Waterman (p. 77) talking about the impact of culture on the
organization say “if organizations do not have a strong notion of themselves, as it could be reflected on its values,
histories, myths and legends; then, the security of people just can come from the position they have on the structural
chart”, though very clear and emphatic, are not always developed in an appropriate way for institutions to confuse

tactics with strategic actions. The movement of employees within the organizational structure can develop in processes
where natural leaders do not necessarily come to occupy positions where they can establish the correct application of
organizational culture (Downs, 1993), thus causing a real lack of leadership even when nominally identified the leaders
of the organization.

Perhaps the biggest problem lies in the transformation of the organizational structure in a bureaucracy, where the most
important reason for the stay are not the results, but adherence to established forms and maintenance of organizational
culture, creating a situation extremely dangerous for the future of the organization, viewed strategically.

Our hypothesis is developed based on these theoretical concepts, where we set:

"The lack of clear leaders with knowledge of the external context of an educational institution, it can lead to a situation
where the leadership crisis in both blatant and covert generating crisis eroded in both academic and administrative
processes, making it difficult to establish an organizational culture itself."

Take as a case study the Universidad del Valle de México (UVM) Campus Monterrey, which by their relative youth
allows us to observe development, or lack thereof, of organizational culture necessary for the success of the institution
and the permanence of it.

Operating in its third year, the Campus Monterrey is set in a city where there are currently 14 universities ranging from
small local to high national and international recognition. The student population of the city is very big and dynamic,
maintaining an average of about 60% of students from outside of it, and with strong links between institutions and the
working environment of the region. Higher education is a priority of the State Government for over 40 years, as part of
their strategic planning embodied in the State Development Plan for 30 years.

Deans and Directors of universities in Monterrey are mostly people connected to the educational field all their life and
have a strong relationship with both social and professional field. It is noteworthy that the positions of local universities,
both private and public places are considered high social position and are highly respected by Monterrey’s society.

Under this premise, it is quite clear that the leadership established by the managers of educational institutions in the city

is very strong, highly respected and a special attraction for those who cover those positions. Also, stay in the posts is
extremely long, on the sole exception UANL where statutes and regulations establish a permanent set, but with an offset
generated by the lifetime of teaching plaza, which are creditors.

Working with a review of documentary information service and fundamental documents, we found that of the local
universities, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Universidad de Monterrey
(UDEM), Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL), Centro de Estudios Universitarios (CEU), Universidad del
Norte (UN) and even the relatively young Universidad Metropolitana de Monterrey (UMM), have managed to interact
strongly with the Monterrey society finding in them Deans and Directors whose stay in the posts has been clearly define
its position of leadership, and the administrative work is delegated to the Technical Secretaries or Administrative Heads
thereby allowing the exercise of his leadership both in an obvious way and outside their institutions.

As a result, these universities have developed network-based organizational systems where the construction of small
structures (Faculties, Departments or Schools) are active in an apparently autonomous, with much freedom of decision
and operation, under the leadership of others in smaller units (mostly “Academias”), thereby generating a process of
well-defined organizational culture that is supported by other staff within the general strategy marked by the Dean.

Now, reviewing the case of the UVM Campus Monterrey, we detect the following events have impacted on the
establishment of their own organizational culture and leadership development:

+ Changing the Campus structure during the firsts years of operation. At the beginning, Campus Monterrey was the only
UVM campus in Monterrey, with the incorporation of the Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC) Campus
Cumbres at the second year of operation, the Dean and the administrative structure has been unified and in the third year
the two campus has been separate with Deans in both of them.
+ The appointment of two Deans at this period of time, both of them unknown to the community. The first two Deans
has been brought form other units of UVM, and both are unknown for the Monterrey community.
+ Four faculty Directors in the same period of time. With none explanation, the firs two Directors has been fired in a
little time, no more than 18 months.
+ The change of Academic Coordinators on three occasions. When the Campus Monterrey start their operation, the
Academic Coordinators has been switched with Campus Cumbres at the second year, and other Academic Coordinator
has been changed with no explanation to the faculty.

These events have caused great difficulty in establishing an organizational culture defined to allow members of the
institution be targeted and a common goal that the cohesion as a group and therefore able to develop the activities
necessary for the proper functioning and remaining of the institution. This lack of organizational culture can be viewed
with the results of the Annual Satisfaction Survey, where we find that Campus Monterrey dropped dramatically in the
last two years from a 41% of general satisfaction to a lousy 12% in only 12 months.

Other data found in the Campus that can show us this problem are the following:

+ High turnover of teachers. Only the 15% of the original faculty remains at the present period.
+ Difficulty evident in the processes of attracting students. The last two periods, the goal of first ingress has to be
lowered because the lack of interest of the high school students to the university.
+ High dropout students. The statistical data from the campus, shows us a nearly 45% of dropout of students due to
factors related to the loss of attractiveness of the university or academic program.
+ Academies operating with difficulty. Twice academic coordinators have tried to form and run the academies, with no
positive results to date.
+ Low participation of members of the institution in processes of collective. Teachers are no longer participating in the
development of activities related to their students outside the classroom.

Perhaps one of the most interesting evidence comes from the same marketing area, where the observation of the
situation is accepted that even with a campus in its third year of operation, it has not been able to position itself within
the city or for good or bad, which from a strategic perspective is still not all bad, as long as this situation does not
continue for a couple of years, since within the local context as an educational institution is "classified" by Monterrey
society can hardly change that perception granted.

The development of an organizational model and leadership based in small leadership cells to this institution should take
into account a number of conditions are not meet, could hinder their development and compromise his tenure, some of
them might be:

+ The search and integration in leadership positions (Dean or Director) for local people with extensive knowledge of the
educational environment, with high academic and professional prestige.

+ The integration of teachers with high professional recognition as a leader or head of group, preferably by discipline or
career with a wide discretion in setting the organizational culture of their areas.
+ The establishment of internal communication processes more effective so that the goals of the institution permeated to
all members of it.
+ Development of an educational process in organizational culture, from the bottom up, so that the process can actually
be adopted by all members of the institution.

In support of these ideas, we should mention the case of Glion School, within the same campus, where its semi-
independent operation, and more defined mission and goals has been to develop a team spirit and a much stronger
organizational culture own, allowing the school to start being recognized in the town, with a stronger position.

Although it is clear that the development of an organizational culture itself is necessary in modern times for the best
performance of institutions and organizations (Take Apple for example) the relationship of this culture with the context
of geographically diversified institutions, is much more important as a concept of planetarization in societies not yet
possible to consider, so that the understanding of the context becomes the most important element for the development
and success of organizational culture.


1. Allison, G.T. Essence of Decision, Longman, 2nd. Edition, 1999
2. Ansoff, I. Corporate Strategy: An Analytical Approach to Business policy for Growth and Expansion, McGraw-
Hill, 1965
3. Bartlett & Goshal. Managing Across Borders, Harvard Business Press, 2nd Edition, 2002
4. Chiavenato, Idalberto. Introducción a la Teoría General de la Administración. 3ra. Edición. Edit. McGraw-Hill.
5. Cyert, R.M. & March, J.G. A Behavioral Theory of the Firm, Wiley-Blackwell, 2nd Edition, 1992
6. Denzin, Norman, Symbolic interactionism and politics in systemic perspective, Studies in Symbolic Interaction,
Volume 26, JAI Press, 2003
7. Downs, A. Inside Bureaucracy, Waveland Press, 1993
8. Drucker, P. The Practice of Management, Harper Paperbacks, 2006
9. March & Simon, Organizations, Wiley-Blackwell, 2nd Edition, 1993
10. Maslow, H., Toward a Psychology of Being, Wiley, 3rd Edition, 1998
11. McGregor, D. The Human Side of the Enterprise, McGraw-Hill, 2005
12. Morgan, Gareth, Imagenes de la Organizacion, Alfaomega Grupo Editor, 1999
13. Nonaka, Ikuhiro, Managing Flow: a process theory of the Knowledge based firm, Palgrave McMillan, 2008
14. Peters, T. & Waterman, R. In Search of Excellence, Harper Paperbacks, 2004
15. Pfeffer, J. & Salanick, G.R., The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective.
Harper and Row, Stanford Business Books, 1st Edition, 2003
16. Porter, M. Competitive Strategy, Free Press, 1998
17. Selznick, P. Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation, University of California Press, 1984
18. Senge, Peter, Leading in a time of change, what it will take to lead tomorrow, Jossey-Bass, 2001
19. Simon, H., Administrative Behavior, Free Press, 4th Edition, 1997
20. Weber, M., The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, Free Press, 1997
21. Williamson, O., Markets and Hierarchies, Free Press, 1983
22. Yourdon, Edward. Análisis Estructurado Moderno. Prentice-Hall Panamericana, S.A. México 1989.