Department of Management


Date of this Version



Academy of Management Journal, Volume 10, Issue 4, 1 December 1967


(c) 1967 Academy of Management. Used by permission.


Very little significant research has been conducted on the university as an organized activity. This study helps to fill solve of this void. The concept of central administrative control is used as a framework to empirically analyze faculty promotion policies and practices. The universities of today are recognized as extremely important organizations in our society. Faculty members conduct significant research which advances knowledge in their particular fields of study. For instance, in the management departments of our universities, professors devote most of their research efforts to developing knowledge and insights into industrial organizations. In a few cases these professors have also researched hospital, government, and military organizations. They have not bothered to take an introspective analysis of the university itself as a functioning organization.

This study was undertaken to describe and analyze one phase of the university as an organized activity — the faculty promotion process. The analysis utilized the administrative concept of central administrative control. Control is simply defined as making sure things go according to plan and becomes especially important in large decentralized organizations. In these situations some degree of central control over organizational participants becomes necessary to achieve coordination and a unity of purpose. In fact, effective personnel controls may be the most important requirement for organizational success.^ Such controls do not imply strict bureaucratic standards and rules such as are found in the budgeting process but rather are based on effective personnel policies and practices.