COMPENSATORY EDUCATION WITHIN THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK: A STUDY OF THE ROLE EXPECTATIONS AND PERCEPTIONS OF SEEK DIRECTORS (ORGANIZATION, ROLE STRAIN)
MILLER, FLORA MARTIN
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This is a study of role expectations and perceptions of directors of SEEK Programs within the framework of the City University of New York and how this role is influenced by the internal structure of the university. The purpose of this study is to gather information that can be useful in formulating hypotheses about the relationship between behavior with this role of director and the structure of the program, and its environment. Expectations and perceptions are explored in five different areas: role definition and task, role strain, program structure and university environment, interpersonal conflict, and leadership and management.;Findings reveal that the inordinate number of role tasks involved, lack of sufficient administrative assistance, limited power and authority, inadequate program budgets, weak campus support, indifferent and sometimes hostile attitudes, ambiguous program structures and uncertainty about job and program all contributed to the high degree of strain felt by SEEK Directors. The divided nature of the structures of the SEEK Program and the internal structure of the University and the director's position within these structures together with the fact that SEEK is less powerful than other departments within the University are the foundation of the high level of interpersonal conflict reported here by directors. Directors' perceptions of leadership and management within their role differ somewhat from program guideline descriptions. Directors see their role as essentially one of leadership and management, whereas the guidelines describe this role as that of monitor/manager/reporter.;The following hypotheses reflect the analysis of the findings in this study: (1) As demands made on directors from other organizational actors increase and diverge, role strain increases; this in turn, results in a decrease in the ability of directors to meet role expectations. Increased departure from role expectations, in turn, negatively influences program outcome. (2) The nature of the dependency of the structure of the SEEK Program influences strain within the role of director. (3) The greater the degree to which college presidents permit freedom of action within the formal program guidelines, the greater the degree of the attainment of program goals. (4) An ambiguous program structure, interpersonal conflict, and the lack of vested power and authority within the role of director are all factors which influence a negative program outcome.