EDU702

RESEARCH PROPOSAL
THE PERCEPTIONS AND READINESS OF NONACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS ON THE EMPOWERMENT STRATEGY: CASE STUDY OF µLET THE MANAGERS MANAGE (LeTMMe)¶ IN UiTM

Prepared by :

Imran Mohamed @ Ismail ED775/02
Prepared for :

2010619886

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Izaham Shah Ismail

APRIL 2011

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Stud y Universiti Teknologi MARA is known as the largest public university in Malaysia with current enrolment of 180,000 students (including part timers and allied colleges). The university also hires more than 10,000 academicians in order to deliver its curriculum. In order to manage such this big population, the University has to appoint some academici ans to uphold certain administration positions. From the other view, it seems like those µexpert¶ are not in their optimising position when they have to forgone on preaching the knowledge in order to perform this administration duties. Due to this situation, University is currently practice a big tutorial group consisting about 40 students and recruiting part time lecturers in order to cater the shortages. This big group of tutorial and part time lecturers tend to compromise with the quality expectation of the University. Various system, policies and procedures were tested and reviewed, to find tune for the best to be implemented in the University since year 2000. Online records have be en tremendously applies in the most of the daily operations to accelerate the work process. In 2008 and 2009, a serious discussion have be raised on empowering the non -academic administrators to office some of the administrations work which currently done by

academicians. In late 2009, µLet the Manager¶s Manage (LeTTMMe)¶ is ta bled to the University Management perusal. In 2010, a few campuses (Segamat, Seri Iskandar, Dungun and Samarahan) were instructed to pilot-test this idea, before it will be applied to the whole University¶s system . This idea was collaborated with the UiTM autonomous state campus agenda.

1.2 Statement of the Problem The University¶s is going bigger and the need for academicians is getting crucial. In meantime, some academicians are doing administrative jobs, which reducing their teaching hours. This situation made the shortage of academicians getting worse. To encounter the problem, t he University plans to empower more task and responsibilities to non -academic administrator (in this case, Assistant Registrars) to run the administration and daily operation. The academicians will (still) hold a very minimum administrative position, but will focus more on academic matters. The administrators will be empowered to uphold top administrative positions (for example in Students¶ Affairs, Intake, Sport Centre, Health Centre). The questions raise whether the Assistant Registrars are capable to take this responsibility or not. This study will look into the readiness and perceptions of the Assistant Registrars to deploy this empowerment initiative, as well as to look into their perceptions on University¶s preparation on it.

1.3 Purpose of the Study a. To look into administrator¶s perceptions on this empowerment initiative (implementing LeTMMe). b. To identify the advantages and disadvantages of implementing LeTMMe to the University from non-academic administrators (Assistant Registrars) perspective. c. To determine either administrators and/or UiTM are ready with staffing, training and tools to implement LeTTMe.

1.4 Research Questions a. What are the perceptions of Assistant Registrars towards this empowerment initiative? b. What are the advantages and disadvantages of LeTMMe from Assistant Registrars perspective? c. Does UiTM and the administrators (ARs) ready to implement LeTMMe?

1.5 Limitations and Delimitations 1.5.1 Limitation 1.5.1.1 Time constraint As the research will be conducted during the very limited time line, it will be narrow down to the readiness and perception among the group of Assistant Registrars only. 1.5.1.2 The LeTMMe is currently put on hold . Due to the latest development and management policy, this initiative is currently put on hold from the practice. It is also due to the government ruling of not issuing any new warrant for administrative post until further notice (expecting of no new warrant till year 2012). 1.5.2 Delimitation The study only focuses on readiness and perception of non academic administrators and the respondents are all Assistant Registrars in Academic Affairs Department in the UiTM system.

1.6 Significance of the Study This study will be very useful for Academic Affairs Division of UiTM to underline the needs and oversee the forecasted issues before taking LeTTMMe into practice. This study is also useful for the University administrators in ensuring the skills and knowle dge needed are in hands before the full implementation take place.

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW

Many researchers have defined ³empowerment´ in various ways. Kanter (1977) defines empowerment as giving power to people who are at a disadvantaged spot in the organization. She sees a continuum of power from powerlessness to be empowered. Continuing in this tradition, (Block 1987), Sullivan (1994) and Sullivan and Howell (1996) also focus on the role of the manager in empowering employe es. This perspective suggests that an empowered organization is one where managers supervise more people than in a traditional hierarchy and delegate more decisions to their subordinates (Malone, 1997). Managers act like coaches and help employees solve pr oblems. Employees, he concludes, have increased responsibility. Superiors empowering subordinates by delegating responsibilities to them leads to subordinates who are more satisfied with their leaders and consider them to be fair and in turn to perform up to the superior¶s expectations (Keller and Dansereau, 1995). In education field which is totally depend on the intangible product, the service is totally important to satisfies the customer (students).So that giving empowerment to the non-academic administrator would help to increase the customer¶s satisfaction first: when academician can give their solely effort on teaching to students and second when non academic administrator has full autonomy to provide excellent service to main customer¶s (students). Looy et al (2003) describes empowerment is a means of providing service employees with enough autonomy to allow them handle unforeseen situations such as complaints

The management of university is trying hard to be more effective and efficient with implementing the concept of ³Let the Manager Manage´ to their management style. According to Drucker (1980) overall effectiveness of the

organization is based on the autonomy of the individual worker and the worker¶s effectiveness is linked to the freedom provided within the organizational climate of the system.

The university plan to empower most of administration works to the non academic administrators will help the administrator to increase their job effectiveness as well as increasing their positive attitudes in performing their works. Kallenberg (1977) argues that degrees of autonomy moderate the way the individual perceives other positive attributes of the job. According to David Collin (1995), the implication of the process of empowerment will lead to clear and desirable gains for both managers and workers.

There are few consideration taken for the planning of transferring the autonomy of certain fields from professional educator (as what happen now) in university to the non academic educator. Acc ording to Grace (1997), the problem of providing autonomy to the professional educator is based on the inherent conflict between professionalization and bureaucratization. This statement supports the reason of university¶s management to switch most of the autonomy in decision making from academic administrators to non academic administrators.

Switching from academic administration to non academic administration in university is important as to switch from personal autonomy to team based autonomy. According to Pastor (1996), personal empowerment, i.e. that which individuals are responsible for doing for themselves in order to feel empowered in their lives regardless of circumstances. In the view of university administration, the personal empowerment involve the head of department in different faculty that lead more to personal empowerment because they are responsible more on their own department and they will see the scope of their power based on their experience in their only department. Weick (1976) for ex ample said that educational systems are loosely coupled and, as a result, individuals operate independently more than in groups (English, 1986). However there is also some of the previous researcher who believe that autonomy by professional educator is appropriate practice for education management. Professionalism in teaching is characterized by a control of one¶s destiny (autonomy) and appropriate practice rather than the conformity and standardized practice that bureaucratic organizational approaches demand (Darling -Hammond, 1985).

According to Matthias (2002) the decisions -making competence of the central board as a representative of the overall university must be strength en in relation to disciplines in times of scarce resources and ever increasing societal demands on the university. Only empowered central board is able to overcome the particularistic interest of the single discipline which stands in the way o f strategic reorientation. Matthias (2002) also stress that only empowered central board is able to overcome the particularistic interest of the single discipline which stand in the way of strategic orientation. Based on Matthias research on Gottingen University, the empowerment to the central administration must be increase so that the problem or particularistic interest of single discipline can be overcome.

As near what happen in Malaysia University when the power is laying more on subunit department the contradiction of management style between department will also given impact to the strategic planning of the university which make this organization become harder to make continues improvement. Another researcher is agree that people sometimes acting aut onomously when the situation is appropriate with them, for example in university when it involve their department which means that educator who managed most probably will became autonomously using their power in helping their only department. Meyers (1986) suggests that autonomous behaviour occurs in degrees (i.e. given certain situations, people will act more or less autonomously). He added that to have the ability to act autonomously does not guarantee that the behaviour will occur; individuals will only act autonomously if the situation is appropriate to them.

Non academician administrator should be given the authority to manage their department as the management in profit organization to increase the organization effectiveness and to remain competitive. Matthias (2002), arguing that significant increases in competitiveness and self management can be made even in a formally state-controlled environment. When an organization employs only hardnosed approaches where workers are denied autonomy, t hey become frustrated and professional growth is limited (Wildman and Niles,1987). Both of the researchers also added that individual autonomy is therefore crucial to the success of the educational reform movement.

Overall effectiveness of the organization is based on the autonomy of the individual worker and that worker¶s effectiveness is linked to the freedom provided within the organizational climate of the system ,Grace(1997).

Autonomy in university to be switch to the non academic administrator is cru cial to educational effectiveness besides overcome the problem of unbalanced power between central administration and subunit department as mention by previous researcher.

CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 Sampling The population of this research will be among Assistant Registrars of Academic Affairs Department, in all faculties and campuses. The total population is expected to be around 80 respondents. Thus, the whole population will be selected to participate in this study. 3.2 Instrumentation Questionnaire and interview will be used as the instrumentation to gather the data needed for this study. The questionnaire will be divided into two sections which section A consists of demographic data of the respondents, while section B consists of the predetermine attribute to check the respondents perception and readiness towards LeTMMe. Interview session will also be conducted with some of the Assistant Registrars. In extension, some Rector / Dean / Academic Affairs Division personnel will also be interviewed to get the perceptions and expections on LeTTMMe empowerment initiative. 3.3 Data Collection Questionnaire will be distributed to all Assistant Registrars in all faculties and campuses through email. The respondents are required t o answer it and reply back to the researcher through the email . Since the respondents will be identified earlier and some rapport will be made prior to the research, it is expected that almost 100% respondents will return the questionnaire. Interview session is planned to be conducted during the data collection period.

3.3 Data Analysis The data obtained from the questionnaire will be analysed by using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 14.0. The result will be shown in percentages, frequencies and correlation.

References

Bart Van Looy, Paul Gemmel, Roland Van Dierdonck, (2003). Services Management; An Integrated Approach. Great Britain: Pearson Education Limited. 2nd edition. Block, P. (1987), ³The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work´, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. Darling-Hammond, L. (1985), ³Valuing Teachers: The Making of A Profession´, Teachers College Record, Vol. 87 No. 2, pp. 205 -18. Drucker, P. (1980), Managing in Turbulent Times, Harper & Row, New York, NY. English, F.W. (1986), ³Who Is In Charge Of The Curriculum?´, in Walberg, H.J. and Keefe, J.W. (Eds), Rethinking Reform: The Principal¶s Dilemma, National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA, pp. 25-30 Grace Marie Dondero, Organizational Climate and Teacher Autonomy: Implications For Educational Reform International Journal of Educational Management 11/5 [1997] 218±221 Joan Pastor, Empowerment: What It Is and What It Is Not. Empowerment in Organizations, Vol. 4 · No. 2 · 1996, pp. 5 ±7 © MCB University Press · ISSN 09684891 Kallenberg, A.L., "Work Values and Job Rewards: A Theory of Job Satisfaction", American Sociological Review, Vol. 42, 1977, pp. 124 -43. Kanter, R.M. (1977), Men and Women of the Corporation, Basic Books, New York, NY. Keller, T. and Dansereau, F. (1995), ³Leadership and Empowerment: A Social Exchange Perspective,´ Human Relations, Vol. 48 No. 2, Pp. 127 -46. Malone, T.W. (1997), ³Is Empowerment Just A Fad? Control, Decision Making, And IT,´ Sloan Management Review, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 23-9. Matthias Kreying (2002) ,Journal of Education Administration, Vol 40, No.6 2002, pp 552-560 MCV UP Limited, 0957-8234.DO1 10.11081 0957823021 Meyers, C. (1986), ³Freedom, Autonomy, And Responsibility: An Analysis Of Autonomy In Applied Settings´, Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University Of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Sullivan, K. and Howell, J.L. (1996), Wide Awake in Seattle: Success Stories of Outstanding Leaders Who Learned to Share Leadership, In tegrity Publishing, Seattle, WA. Weick, K.E. (1976), ³Educational Organizations As Loosely Coupled Systems´, American Science Quarterly, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 1 -19.

Wildman, T.M. And Niles, J.A. (1987), ³Essentials of Professional Growth´, Educational Leadership, Vol. 44 No. 5, pp. 4 -10.

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