Group Title: conceptual model of institutional goal-setting in a public institution of higher education
Title: A Conceptual model of institutional goal-setting in a public institution of higher education
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Title: A Conceptual model of institutional goal-setting in a public institution of higher education
Physical Description: viii, 119 leaves. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Gager, William A., 1931-
Publication Date: 1969
Copyright Date: 1969
Subject: Education, Higher -- Aims and objectives   ( lcsh )
Educational Administration and Supervision thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Educational Administration and Supervision -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida, 1969.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 114-119.
Additional Physical Form: Also available on World Wide Web
General Note: Manuscript copy.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00097758
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000871792
notis - AEG9018
oclc - 014336917


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Copyright by
William A. Gager, Jr.


I extend sincere appreciation to Dr. James L. Wattenbarger,

Dr. Ralph B. Kimbrough, and Dr. Ernest R. Bartley for serving as

members of the supervisory committee. Special thanks are due to

my chairman, Dr. R. L. Johns, for his guidance and direction

which have been such a significant part of the preparation of

this dissertation.

Special acknowledgment is also due my wife, Patricia, who

simultaneously managed the mechanics of preparation of this

dissertation and the pleasant operation of our dulce domum.

I am indebted to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for providing

me with a fellowship during my studies and during the preparation

of this dissertation.

To my father and mother, William A. and Marie B. Gager, who

made this venture possible and waited so long to see the results,

this dissertation is dedicated.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . i

LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . viii


I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . .. . . 1

Overview .......... ............ 1
Needs for the Study of Goal-Setting .... .. . 1
Objectives .. . . ...... . .. 3
Conceptual Elaboration versus Empirical Studies . 4
The model: components, requirements, verification 4
Delimitations . . . . . . ... . 5
The level of analysis . . . .. . 5
Institutional types . . . . . 6
The Approach . . . . . . . . . 6
Expected Contributions. .... . . .. ... 7


Introduction . . . . . . . .. . 10
Institutional Goal: Definition . . . . 11
Effective behavior at the institutional level . 11
Internal and environmental components of
institutional goals . . . . . . .. 12
Goals as intentions . . . . . 13
Scope of applicability; interdependence .. .... .13
The dominant intention . . .. . . . . 14
A single event decision . . . . . . 14
Number of inputs. .. . . . . . 14
A series of decisions . . . . . . 15
Degree of deviation . . ...... . . 15
Product or process . . . . .. . . . 16
Aspirations versus constraints . . .. . . 17

Salient Institutional Goal Issues ... .. . . 17
Functions of Institutional Goals . . .. . .. 18
Characteristics of institutional goals ......... 19
Sets of goals . . . . . . ...... 19
A hierarchy of goal systems .. ... .... 19
The goals for one institution . .... ... 19
Goals as intentional consequences . . ..... 19
Real versus stated goals ..... . . 20
Personal goals versus organizational goals .. ... 20
Who sets institutional goals? ...... . . 21
Degree of specificity ...... . . .* 21
Content . . . . ..... 21
Types of institutional goals . . . . . 21
Conclusion . . . . . . . 23


Introduction . ... . . . . . * 25
The Simplest Case .. . . . . . . 25
Alternatives . . . . . * * * 25
Ensuing actions ........ . . . * 27
The elements in this simplest case . . . . . 29
The resolution: an emergent outcome . . . .. 30
More Complicated Cases ... .. . . . . 30
The essential criterion in goal-setting . . . .. 31
Goal effectiveness . . .. . . * 32
Social Structure ........ . . . 33
Variables which describe structure . . . . . 33
Structure of the goal-setting process . . . .. 34
The structure which defines an intention . . .. 35
Characteristics of Goal-Setting . . . . .. . 36
Intentional goal-setting versus evolutionary goal-setting 36
Goal veto versus goal formulation . . . . . . 37
Goals for new institutions versus on-going institutions 37
Prospective versus retrospective goals .. . . 37
Distinction between output and process . . 38
Personality and psychological factors . . . . . 38
Dimensions of goal-setting . . ... . . 39
Goal-setting, decision-making, and policy-setting . . 39
Conclusion ..... ... * * 40


Introduction . . . . . . * * 41
Characteristics of a System . . .. . 41
Definition of a system . . . . .. . 42
Properties of systems . . . . . . . 43
Immegart's system types . . . .. . . 43
A Social System .. . .... . . . 44
A cybernetic social system model . . . 45




A College or University as a Social System . . 45
The Use of Models . . ... . . . .. 48
Types and functions of a model . . . . 49
The form of the model . . . . .. . . 51
The Goal System . . . . . . . . . 52
A general model . . . . . . . 52
Principles . . . . . . . . . . 52
Limitations . . . . . . . . . 54
Elaboration of the general cybernetic model . . 56
The Goal-Setting System . . . . .. ... 57
Introduction . .. . . . . . . . 57
The Entities of the Goal-setting System .. . 57
Entities in Several Systems . . . . . 58
Subsystem as a level of analysis . . . .. 60
Specific subsystems . . . . . . . 60
The student subsystem . . . . . . 60
The faculty subsystem . . . . . . 61
The board of control subsystem . . . . 62
The administration subsystem . . . . . 63
The Boundaries and the Environment . . . . 64
The Inputs and Outputs . . . . . . . 65
The Goal-setting System as a Social System . . 66
Basic Goal-setting System: Matrix of the Goal-
setting Model . . . . . . . . . 67


Introduction . . . . . . .. . . . 69
Type of Relationship. ... .. . . . . .. 69
Information links . . . . . . . 69
Relative goal interest . . . .. . . .. 70
Relative power of entities . ..... . . 71
Independence of entities in the institutional
system . . . . . . . . 73
Degree of participation . . . . . 73
The cost-reward relationship . . . . 74
Usable power . . . . . . . . .. 75
Type of conflict resolution behavior practiced . 75
Interaction patterns . . . . . . . 76
Social relationships . . . . . . 76
Importance of the character of the interaction 77
Social relationships in goal-setting . . . 79
Mediating Variables . . . . . . . .. 79
The Changing Character of Relationships . . .. 80
Significance of Relationships Among Entities and
Subsystems . . . . . . 81


Introduction . . . . . . . . . .. 82

Page '

Structures Implied by Conventional Models . . 82
The autonomous system . . . .. . .. 82
The collegial and hierarchical configurations
of the model ... . . . . . . .. 83
The rights of the owner . . . . . 86
The faculty-dominant system . . . . 86
A student dominant system . . . . . . 88
Other Types of Structure . . . . . . 88
Multi-modal systems . . . . . . . 89
Low resolution system . . . .. . . . 91
Systems with weak information links . . . . 91
Coalitions . . . . . .. . . .. . 92
Conclusions . . . . . ........ . 95


Introduction . . . . . . . . 96
Autonomous versus Instrumental Variables . .. 96
Variables Subject to Intervention by Some Actor
or Entity . . . . . . . . . 97
Internal and external intervention . . . 97
Power variables . . .. . . . 97
Information relationships . . . . . .. 97
Relative goal interests . . . . . . . 98
Levels of participation . . . . . . . 98
Interaction patterns . .. . . . . 98
Manner of goal resolution . . . . .. 98
The Impact . . . . . .. . . . 99


A Summary of the Model . . . . . . .. 100
The arena or matrix of goal-setting . . . .. 100
The structure of the system . . . . . 101
Characteristics of the process . . . . . 102
Using the Model . . . . .. . . . . 103
Use of the model in research . . . . . 108
Use of the model in organizational studies . . 109
Strategies for intervention . . . . .. 110
A demonstrative device to facilitate communication 111
Implications . . . . . . . . 112
Implications . . . . . . . . . .




Figure Page

1 A General Cybernetic Model . . .. ... .. 45

2 Koenig's Model of an Institution as a Socio-economic
Process . . .. . . . . 47

3 Brink's Flow Model for Decision-making in a University 47

4 A General Model of a Cybernetic Goal System . . . 53

5 Selected Interlocking and Overlapping Systems . . 59

6 Relationships which Describe the Configuration of a
Goal-Setting System . . . . . . . .. 105





The aim of this study is to contribute to the systematic ordering

of the process of institutional goal-setting in public higher education.

It attempts to describe the nature of the event and to show patterns

and regularities which reduce randomness and uncertainty about the pro-

cess by which goals are set. After examining the nature of goals and

goal-setting, the approach will be to identify the entities involved in

goal-setting in higher education, describe the arena in which they act,

and describe the relationships which exist among the entities. The

structuring of the elements is built on the conceptualization of the

goal-setting process as a social system. Based on this fundamental struc-

turing, patterns are then sought in the relationships between actors

which add structure to the process.

The implications of a structuring of the goal-setting process are

that it lays the foundation for subsequent studies which will relate par-

ticular patterns of goal-setting or particular inputs into the system with

particular goal outcomes, or which will in some way systematically com-

pare the impact of alternatives available in goal-setting.

Needs for the Study of Goal-Setting

Developments in recent years in organizational theory and in the

academic disciplines which contribute to the study of organizations have



gone far in systematizing organizational and administrative practice.

At the base, however, of all organizations is an implied or explicit

goal or set of goals which is the reason for existence of the organi-

zation. Edward Brink has observed that "Soul-searching questions re-

garding the basic objectives and plans of higher education are now

transcending more traditional interest in the future availability and

financing of university facilities" (4:226). Review of the literature

on organization and administration of higher education reveals that

much greater attention has been focused on effective accomplishment

of goals or on arguments for particular goals for higher education

than on the process by which goals are set. Both Eckert, treating goals

of colleges and universities in 1960 (21), and Perrow (60), surveying

the field of organizational goals in 1968, point to the need for con-

cepts and constructs required to do systematic study of the process of

goal-setting. A fundamental set of concepts is needed in order to

explain how goal-setting systems vary.

Many assumptions are implicit in organization and administration

based on goals. One assumption which is often made or implied is that

the goals of higher education are absolute, that they perform a common

function in all societies, and that the goals may be discovered by sys-

tematic analysis. Another set of assumptions, showing an influence of

simple economics, holds that goals are set by the "owners", by the parties

which provide the resources for the enterprise, or by the wishes of the

clients. Another assumption is that in higher education, as in medicine,

the professional specialists know what is best for the profession to do.

Such a list of assumptions may be expanded many times. Dobbins and Lee

have observed that "one's view of decision making in the academic com-

munity is heavily coated by one's own vantage point" (18:128). The


assumption of this study is that no one of those assumptions is an ado-

quate explanation of how the goals of an institution of higher education

are set. Rather, it is hypothesized that the goal-setting process is a

complex social process involving many interested parties. A better under-

standing of this process is needed to complement the body of organizational

theory devoted to accomplishment of goals. "A consideration of the dynam-

ics of goal-setting makes it possible to move away from analysis centered

only on the officially stated purposes of an organization" (39:78).

The need for the study of goal-setting springs as well from another

source. If an educator becomes concerned only with the effective accom-

plishment of a given goal, he becomes in many ways a technologist skilled

at methods of social engineering and goal implementation. These are very

important, and the goals gay in fact be very worthy. But if these are

the bounds of his concerns, he abdicates his role as a fellow in a

humanistic endeavor concerned with the questions of moral choice.

Consideration of goal-setting is particularly timely. While some

societies have an "establishment" which sets the standards, a party ideol-

ogy of over-riding influence, or a theology which dictates social values,

social observers such as Raymond Aron note the disintegration of social

consensus in many of the Western societies with which the United States

can be identified. There is certainly no consensus on the goals of

higher education, or on the goals of many particular institutions. In

this context, the process by which goals are established becomes of

even greater interest.


The objective of this study is to develop a conceptual model of the

institutional goal-setting system in public colleges and universities.


It is expected that the model will define what goal-setting is; describe

the processes of goal-setting in a social system; identify the actors,

inputs, outputs, and boundaries in the process; describe the relation-

ship between the actors which give structure to the system; and identify

ways in which goal-setting processes differ.

Conceptual Elaboration versus Empirical Studies

James Coleman (12:vii) has pointed out salient differences in ob-

jectives of studies: "In the development of any science, two things are

crucial: systematic empirical study and systematic conceptual elabora-

tion." The objective of this study is conceptual elaboration. As Con-

rad Arensberg has said: "The gain to science is not that of a con-

trolled experiment, where another possibility is checked off. One's re-

ward is a better 'model', a newer, even unexpected hypothesis about fac-

torial interconnections" (2 :,32). The thrust of this study is develop-

ment of a way of looking at goal-setting which facilitates further study.

The Model: Components, Requirements, Verification

In building a model it is necessary to identify what the model con-

sists of. The model which is the objective of this study focuses on a

description of the nature of goal-setting, identification of the actors

who perform the roles and functions in the process, the connecting links

or relationships between actors, the salient dimensions along which the

relationships between actors change, the types of inputs, and in broad

terms, the categories of outputs.

The model is intended to support the subsequent formulation of hy-

potheses which lend themselves to empirical testing. The requirements of

such a model are that it be coherent, that it correspond with available

observed reality, .and that the analyses of alternatives and consequences


be logical. Like theoretical research, all that is demanded at this

stage in regard to verification is that in principle it be possible to

test it by reference to sensory data (20:315). The model must be use-

ful. In order to stand without modification, the model must ultimately

be substantiated by the empirical research which is based upon it.


The Level of Analysis

Goal-setting behavior can be conceived of as existing at at least

three levels: (1) the level of individual persons, (2) the level of

collective entities or subsystems of the larger system with which char-

acteristics or behavior can be associated, and (3) the level of the

goal-setting system as a whole. The last two levels, involving behavior

of collective entities, can be described in three ways: (1) syntality

dimensions which describe behavior of system, subsystem, or group as a

whole, (2) structure dimensions which describe relations among individuals

in groups or subsystems in systems, and (3) population traits which aver-

age characteristics of individuals or subsystems (8:63).

This study focuses on the collective entities which make up the goal-

setting system, and the characteristics of structure based on relationships

between entities.

No attempt is made to deny that the qualities, characteristics and

psychological attributes of individual persons affect the outcome. On the

contrary, these are viewed as mediating variables which must be taken into

account for any particular case. Attention is given to the collective

entity level of analysis in an attempt to identify significant character-

istics of the process other than differences of individual persons.

Institutional Types

This study is addressed to the public college in the abstract as the

most general type of institutional form. Colleges and universities have

many organizational forms, and public junior colleges and technical in-

stitutes add further variety. To accommodate to this, in particular

cases identification of the actors and entities concerned with goal-

setting can be adjusted to correspond with differences in institutions and

in patterns of external support and control. Identification of actors is

treated in Chapter IV.

The Approach

It has been stated that the objective is to deduce a model of the

institutional goal-setting process in public higher education. The ap-

proach taken in this study is first to examine the nature and functions

of institutional goals. Then the goal-setting process is described as

the interaction of components of a social system. This requires a sum-

mary examination of a system and of a social system. The basic goal-

setting action is seen as an interaction sequence in a social system.

Regularities in the system are seen as regularities in patterns of inter-

action. Regularities in patterns of interaction are examined from two

perspectives. The first is interaction in the abstract, disassociated

from any social, psychological, or organizational matrix. Differences

in origin and response patterns are considered. Patterns of conflict

resolution are examined. The role of norms is considered. The resultant

dominant alternative patterns of interaction are considered to form

classes of the model. Then variation in patterns of interaction are con-

sidered which can be associated with variations in the "structural" re-

lationships between elements. These "structural" relationships are based


on such factors as relative power, relative interest in particular goal

issues, and quality of information links. The dominant patterns of inter-

action based on structural relationships are likewise to be considered

classes of the model. The interaction is conceived of as taking place

within some social, political, psychological, and organizational context

or environment. Except as these contextural factors have an influence

on the "structural" relationship among elements, they are considered as

mediating variables to be accounted for in particular cases. The process

in the most general case is conceived of as a cybernetic, on-going, mor-

phogenic process which is under constant revision.

Executed Contributions

The expected contributions of the model developed by this study

and the resultant identification of process dimensions or type forms are

that they will provide the bases for the formulation of productive hypo-

theses which will lend themselves to empirical verification in subsequent

studies. The model of this study is expected to permit hypotheses that

are well founded and addressed to significant questions. It is expected

that the propositions drawn from the model will be of at least two kinds:

those relating some aspects of the goal-setting system itself, to include

its output; and those that relate characteristics of the goal-setting pro-

cess to other significant aspects of higher education.

From the perspective of organization theory, the significant question

is of the first type, namely, how changes in one part of the process,

especially an output, may be associated with changes in another part of

the process. Description of classes or configurations of goal-setting

processes provides the basis for relating particular classes of goal-

setting processes with types of goal outputs or concern for particular


<:.1 issues. A valuable contribution has been made by Gross and

rarnbach (33) in this area, but there is an important opportunity for

refinement of differences in characteristics or types of goal-setting

Other propositions of the first typo might include propositions on

the Doint of intervention or the type of intervention for effective of the process or its output, and propositions that deal with

the priorities of relevance of variables of the process in determining

the characteristics of the goal output.

Propositions of the second type might cover a very broad spectrum

focusing on organizational problems and relating these problems to types

or characteristics of the goal-setting systems.

As an incidental utility, the model, in its conceptual form and

unreinforced by verification of deduced propositions, can serve as a

best-available guide for use in practice for apporaching problems of

i:1-. -cing the goal-setting process. Part of the value will derive frco

t-.e -xolicit statement of the variables, the relationships, and the

ccmonenrt processes. Other effects of description of the process should

be illuntination of such operational problems as divergent goals, ineffec-

tive goals, or operating in an environment of unrecognized or uninformed

conflicting goal positions. To the degree that the model is accepted

Logical by the protagonists in a goal dispute, it serves to moderate

n.i-io~: conceptions of how institutional goals are set. It illustrates,

-or example, that the president is not able as a generality to set or

change the institutional goals by unilateral action, nor is it realistic

ao as.ume that faculty or students exercise unlimited discretion without

constraints from other members of the system.


Looking at the process of goal-setting promises to contribute to the

very central problem of examining the goals of higher education on a

continuing basis.




Archie Dykes has described institutional goals as that which

precludes aimlessness, disunity, and disarray (19). A number of terms

are closely related: role, function, purpose, aim, and objective. In

this study, goal is used as a generic term. After the usage of Ohm

(54: 8), objectives will be used for specific goals used to generate

means or measure progress; aims are nonoperational general statements

which require elaboration; and purposes are statements which synthesize

individual needs and organizational objectives. Role, a word of many

meanings, in this context describes the demand upon the institution

by the social environment, the internal adjustment of the institution

to this environmental demand, and the way the system functions in meet-

ing the requirements (50:219). The institutional function is considered

as the role of the institution.

In this chapter, institutional goal will be defined. The concerns

of this study will be illustrated by citing examples of institutional

goals from the perspective of this study. Functions, characteristics

and types of institutional goals will then be surveyed.

1"Institution" is used in this paper in the organization theory
sense to mean an established organization, not in the sociological sense
meaning an organized way of doing something, nor as used by Parsons to
describe hierarchical levels of authority (59).



Institutional Goal: Definition

Definition: An institutional goal is an input into the decision-

making process which represents a statement of the dominant intention of

what some collective behavior, product, or state of affairs of the insti-

tution including all its elements should be.

Effective Behavior at the Institutional Level

Consideration of collective behavior at the institutional level

raises the question of whether there is such a thing as an institutional

goal, or whether in higher education the activities of an institution are

simply the aggregate of the colleges, departments, and institutes in pur-

suit of their particular goals. The latter view would see the university

or college, especially the university, as primarily a name given to the

location where autonomous teaching, research, and service activities are

geographically clustered.

It is true that many of the major elements of a university, if given

appropriate administrative capabilities and moved away from the university,

could stand alone, relating to society directly through the board of re-

gents. The goals of the separated college would then be the institution-

al goals. But it is also true that by chance or design departments or

colleges in institutions are not structured this way. They share an

interdependency based on resources, students, and services. Programs

develop which concurrently or sequentially cross departmental and college

lines. Desires and capabilities of students for a variety of broad tyoes

of outputs from higher education, create a demand for coherent approaches

to particular types of higher education on the part of the institutions.

The elements of society providing support to institutions of higher edu-

cation are increasingly concerned that scarce resources not be used to


provide the same expensive offering in more places than are required, and

that some apparently valuable contributions not be ignored. In order to

continue to exist, the institution must satisfy to some minimum level the

society which supports it. It must satisfy the members who are needed to

conduct it, and it must promise to satisfy the students who are its pro-

spective clients. In current practice these demands are reconciled to

some extent at the institutional level. The reconciled statement of what

it must try to do to satisfy all these requirements are its goals as an


It is conceivable that the goals of an institution could be to let

every department pursue its own aims with no attempt to fit these depart-

mental aims into broader institutional aims. But this decision not to

decide is in itself an institutional goal, and it is not inherent in an

institution of higher education. It must be set by the process of insti-

tutional goal-setting.

Internal and Environmental Components of Institutional Goals

Samuel Gould has suggested the restricted notion that institutional

goals "...interpret a college or university's own estimate of its place

in the totality of higher education" (30:226). From the perspective of

this study, Gould's meaning represents only the "internal" or institu-

tional component in the goal-setting process. On the other hand, Thompson

and McEwen see an institutional goal as essentially the definition of a

relationship between an organization and its environment (68:146). This

conception suggests a monolithic internal goal-position which does not

seem to fit institutions of higher education, and does not adequately

take into account that part of institutional goals suggested by Gould.

Institutional goal as used in this study refers to an ordering of values


which is a reconciliation of internal purposes and a mutually satisfac-

tory relationship between the institution and its environment.

Goals as Intentions

Simon has said that " goals we shall mean value premises that can

servo as inputs to decisions" (63:58). If this is diagramed as a process

flow, we see the goal as one input into the decision process, the deci-

sion process providing the direction for action, and the action produc-

ing results. This is illustrated in Figure 4. This is an important

observation, because to infer that the goal is the logical antecedent of

some observed results assumes that the decision is the objective best

choice in view of the goals, that the action is carried out exactly ac-

cording to the decision, and that there was perfect translation from in-

tentions to implementation. We may conclude that the goal does not have

to produce the indicated results in order to have been in fact the goal.

It need only be an input into the decision-making process.

If a goal cannot be judged entirely by its results, some important

questions are raised: To be a goal, must a particular value premise be

an input to all decisions? To be a goal, must a particular value pre-

mise be held by everyone?

The question of the effectiveness and universality of the goal is

very close to the question of the setting of institutional goals, and

will be examined further in the next chapter. For the purpose of def-

inition, a goal will be considered a dominant intention.

Scope of Applicability; Interdependence

Institutional goals are intended to apply to all elements of the

institution. Cartwright and Zander, in working with small groups, have


attempted to define a group goal ( 7 :Chapter 22). Although aimed at

small groups, part of their definition fits institutional goals, namely,

institutional goals apply to matters about which there is mutual inter-

dependence, and institutional goals act on all members alike.

The Dominant Intention

A Single Event Decision

If one person is making a decision, the dominant intention is re-

solved internally, except in cases where the value hierarchy of the in-

dividual is not established. When a group of persons is making a

decision, the dominant intention can be judged from three perspectives:

(1) it can be the intention of the majority among equals; (2) it can be

the intention of that group who represent the highest count when their

numbers are weighted by their influence on the decision being made; or

(3) it can be the logical antecedent of the decision which was made if

the effect of other constraints and inputs which are non-discretionary

are taken out. Since it is meant to be the intention which most influ-

ences a particular decision, it would in theory be what the participants

in the making of a particular decision would identify as the dominant

intention if they were qualified to recognize it.

Number of inputs.-The fact that an institutional goal is the input

to a decision-making occasion which states the dominant intention does

not imply that it precludes other intentions being inputs in the decision-

making process. Dominance is determined not by what "enters", but by

what "takes", i.e., by what is effective. Decision-making may start be-

fore goal resolution is complete. Essentially this means that there is

more than one input into the decision-making process. Decision-making

then becomes included in the goal-setting process, and the decision in

effect sets the goal.

A Series of Decisions

While the previous paragraph is concerned with the dominant inten-

tion in one particular decision-making occasion, the question arises as

to what the dominant intention is in a series of decisions. The abstract

answer is that the dominant intention is that which prevails when all de-

cisions are considered which affect the output, support, or state of

affairs of the institution. Thus, an intention input which was dominant

in one decision may not be dominant, and therefore a goal, when consider-

ed from the broad view.

Degree of Deviation

The question arises as to how much deviation from a so-called in-

stitutional goal can exist before it ceases to be an institutional goal

as defined in this study. Deviation has two components: individual de-

cision occasions which are made on intentions other than the prevailing

institutional goal in question, i.e., deviation in decision-making; and

actions by individuals or groups of individuals which are not in compli-

ance with decisions based on institutional goals, i.e., deviation in im-

plementation. The later is essentially a question of compliance.

The process of deviation is intimately intertwined with the process

of goal-setting. To the extent that a member of the institution does

not accept an institutional goal, there will be an attempt to change him

or, if necessary, get rid of him. At the same time, the deviating member

is trying to alter the institutional goals. If enough of the members of

the organization support the deviation, the stage is set for changing the

goal rather than changing the member. The same may be said about an ex-


ternal person involved in the function of the organization.

The problem of resolving what is a goal and what has ceased to be

a goal because of deviations in decision-making actions, can be handled

Sby avoiding a dichotomy. If we are considering a particular goal area,

we can speak of a goal affecting a specified amount of organizational

space, or a goal in a given percentage of decisions. We might also

expect unresolved goal issues.

As a minimum a goal must affect a majority of the decisions in a

particular goal area, the highest segment of decisions when rated on

significance, and the majority of the important participants when rated

on their influence on the organization.

Product or Process

Robert Chin has pointed out the distinction between goals as a

description of what is desired as an outcome and goals as what is de-

sired be done as a process (10). Haberstroh has used the idea of a

"common purpose that serves as the unifying factor in human organiza-

tion" (35:1179). Etzioni sees an organizational goal as "a desired

state of affairs which the organization attempts to realize" (23:6) which

sets down "guide lines for organizational activity" (23:5). Simon's con-

ception of goals as value premises or fundamental criteria (63:58) does

not appear to specify whether the criteria are about outcomes or


It appears that there are large areas of direct translation between

goals as product and goals as process, but description of outcome is the

broader notion because it can accommodate more than one process leading

to the same outcome. Because of the present limitations on the theory of


goal-setting and goal implementation, most problems cannot be rigor-

ously outcome oriented. In such cases it becomes expedient to focus

on process characteristics, and assume favorable relationships with

desired outcomes. It is held, however, that the same process which

describes desired products may also specify desired processes.

Asiorations versus Constraints

LSimon has pointed out that goals play two very different roles:

they may be used to generate alternatives and proposed solutions; and

they may be used in testing the satisfactoriness of proposed alternatives

(63:62-3). In the one case, goals are considered as sets of constraints

which are the bases for judging alternatives. In the other case, goals

have the character of aspirations. In Simon's view, when we focus on

the role of goals as constraints it is not difficult to identify discrete

goals in organizations. When goals are taken as aspirations, Simon sees

commonality reduced through a proliferation of goals from a vast number

of alternatives. Simon's observations tend to emphasize the role of

goals as constraints, but do not rule out the existence of commonality

of commitments.

Salient Institutional Goal Issues

The nature of the institutional goals to which this study is addressed

is illustrated by looking at specific goal issues. It will be apparent

that some of the goal issues are concerned with the output which the insti-

tution supplies to the society, and some are concerned with the internal

processes within the institution and thus indirectly concerned with the

outcome. Obviously, the illustrative issues listed below may be counter-

posed differently, and other issues may be added.

Practical emphasis versus academic and scholarly emphasis


Research and scholarly skills versus the "well-rounded student"

Academic excellence versus personal adjustment and "character


High selectivity versus admission of all qualified candidates

Research emphasis versus teaching emphasis

Emphasis on general versus specialized education

Classical liberal studies versus "relevant" general studies

Immediate application versus long-range application

Concern with the immediate context versus a broad derivation

of concerns

Emphasis on teaching and research versus social action

Socialization and integration versus dissent and social


Cultural transmission versus creativity and critical thinking

Individual realization and identification versus increased

social value or utility

Local versus regional or national orientation

Undergraduate versus graduate emphasis

Opportunity for individual faculty career development versus

emphasis on institutional loyalty

Functions of Institutional Goals

/'As stated in the definition, the function of the institutional goal

is to bo an input into the decision-making processes. The decision-

making site may be many places in the organization, or in the institution's

environment. Hill and Egan have identified four major functions of organ-

izational goals in business enterprises: (1) define the major purposes,

(2) provide criteria for integration of efforts, (3) define desirable


behavior, and (4) establish standards (39:76). In the institution of

higher education the institutional goal serves to coordinate and inte-

grate the actions of the parts. It describes desirable behavior and

provides guidance on appropriate use of resources. Etzioni has pointed

out that goals are sometimes taken as the claim for the justification

of an organization's existence for its resource demands, and sometimes

used as objectives by which to evaluate the organization (23:Chapter 2).

Characteristics of Institutional Goals

Sets of goals.-Many things make up the broad purpose of most insti-

tutions of higher education, so that the statement of institutional goals

is a set of goals rather than a simple charge. An important aspect of

this set of goals is that it not simply contain the areas of concern,

but that a preference hierarchy or set of priorities be established. As

Hill and Egan have said, there is "the necessity to specify the order in

which the demands will be met..." (39:78).

A hierarchy of goal systems.-Institutional goals are part of a hier-

archy of goal systems which include national goals for higher education,

goals of state systems of higher education, goals of a particular depart-

ment of an institution, and goals of groups or individuals. The goals of

a state system of higher education may be an input to or put constraints

upon the goals of a particular institution. From the other direction,

departmental goals would be expected to be more specific than, but

congruent with, the goals of the institution.

The goals for one institution.-Institutional goals are the goals of

one particular institution at a particular point in time.

Goals as intentional consequences,-Etzioni makes the explicit dis-

tinction between intended and unintended consequences (23:7). Following


Etzioni, it is stipulated that goals of an institution are what was in-

tended, not unexpected results.

./ Real versus stated goals.-Etzioni has developed the difference be-

tween real and stated goals, where real goals command resources, reflect

actual practice, and correspond with the private aims which cannot be

stated generally (23:7), For the purpose of this study, concern will be

with real goals. Stated goals will not be considered goals except as

they influence decisions./

Personal goals versus organizational goals.-Jacob Getzels has formu-

lated a model which emphasizes both an institutional dimension and an in-

dividual dimension in organizational behavior (29:3). Morphet, Johns,

and Reller have pointed up that one role of the administrator is to bring

about congruence of formal and informal group goals (53:138). Simon has

pointed out the importance of distinguishing between personal and pro-

fessional or organizational goals (63:64f). There are goal decisions

that are based on the utility to the participants, and there are others

based on the functions of the institution. Since it is difficult in

practice to separate personal motives from behavior appropriate to a role

in the organization, it is well to consider that goal-setting behavior

includes personal behavior. But as Simon has said, "It is convenient to

use the phrase organization goal to refer to constraints, or sets of con-

straints, imposed by the organizational role, which has only this indirect

relation to the motives of the decision makers" (63:72). Granting that

there are personal goals which an organization must satisfy in order to

be effective and even to survive, by institutional goal we refer to an

abstraction which implies that the functional aims of the institution can

be separated from the personal aims of the individuals making the deci-


sions. Personal aims will be considered an input to the goal-setting


Who sets institutional goals?-An institutional goal is not neces-

sarily identified by the person who or formal body which takes a goal

position. If any element of the goal-setting process takes a goal stand

which fails to influence the decisions of other elements, an effective

goal has not been set by that stand. Although each of the actors in

the goal-setting process may espouse what he desires to be the goals of

the institution, these institutional goals of particular actors may best

be thought of as inputs into the goal-setting process.

Degree of specificity.-Degree of specificity is not considered a

distinct characteristic of an institutional goal. To be sure, as a gen-

erality institutional goals are expected to be more specific than system-

wide goals, and departments have goals more specific than the institution.

But a particular institution may have institution wide goals which are

very specific or very broad.

Content.-The content is not judged to be a characteristic which dis-

tinguishes institutional goals from other types of goals, although cer-

tain issues are most frequently treated at the institutional goal level.

Types of Institutional Goals

Goals may be typed in many ways. LOne typing which Is applied to in-

stitutions of higher education has been presented by Edward Gross. He

has typed goals into two broad categories and eight subcategories (32):

Output Goals

a) Student expressive, involving fundamental change of student's

b) Student instrumental, involving being equipped to do some-
thing specific for or in society

c) Research, such as new knowledge or problem solving

d) Direct service outside the institution

Support Goals

a) Adaptation goals coming to terms with the environment;
found in recruitment, finance matters, placement

b) Management goals concerning who should run the institu-
tion, handle conflict, establish priorities on output

c) Motivational goals seeking to insure a high level of sa-
tisfaction on the part of staff and students'which em-
phasizes loyalty to the institution

d) Positional goals concerned with status of the institu-
tion, and quality in all programs

Etzioni has classified goals as economic, cultural, or order depend-

ing on the utility of the output of the goals (22:72ff). Economic goals

lead to outputs of commodities and services supplied to outsiders. Order

goals are associated with control of deviants. Culture goals are sub-

divided into creation goals associated with research; preservation goals

associated with passing on the cultural heritage; application goals as-

sociated with professional or vocational application of culture, especially

arts and sciences; and social goals associated with satisfaction of gre-

garious needs. Etzioni's creation and application goals appear to corre-
spond to Gross' research and instrumental goals. Preservation goals may

be implied in expressive goals which involve exposing students to the

great minds of history and developing social, moral, and esthetic poten-

tialities. It would seem reasonable that Etzioni's goal categories would

have sub-areas of specialization. Thus, an institution with predominantly

cultural goals, such as a college, would have goals with regard to aca-

demic achievement, individual development and integration, cultural sur-

vival, political security (Etzioni places political goals in all three


categories), health of the society, physical health of individuals, and

allocation of economic resources. These in turn may be subdivided.

Goals might also be typed according to the kind of behavior which

would be affected by decisions made in pursuance of particular goals.

For example, the categories of behavior with which goals may be asso-

ciated include teaching behavior; resource allocation; individual stu-

dent actions to enroll, withdraw, tolerate, or protest; academic admin-

istration; personnel actions; major allocation of functions; and law


Several important implications are suggested by the typing of goals.

The goal-setting process may be structured differently for one type goal

than it is for another within a given institution. Some actors may be

primarily concerned with a particular type of goal in a given institu-

tional context. The typing of goals is essential if it is desired to

correlate types or configurations of the goal-setting process with

resultant emphasis on a particular type of goal outcome.


This chapter has defined an institutional goal as an input into

the decision-making process, and has introduced the notions of degree

of intensity with which a goal is held, degree of unanimity with which

a goal is supported, and amount of organizational space affected by a

goal position. Functions, characteristics, and types of goals have

been examined. The important implication is that there is no inherent

reason to believe that the processes for setting goals will be the same

for the many types of goals in one particular institution to say noth-

ing of between institutions. On the contrary, it is suggested that a

particular configuration of the goal-setting system, to be developed


in subsequent chapters, will describe the process in a particular

institution at a particular time concerning a particular goal issue.

To assert that the same configuration applies at other times or on

othor. issues depends on establishing similar system parameters.




Based on the definition of a goal developed in Chapter II, setting

an institutional goal consists of determining the dominant intention

which forms the "goal-input" into the decision-making process concern-

ing the institution in question, whether the decision is made within or

external to the institution. This chapter will look at a simple process

that produces an "intention", identify the essential element in goal-

setting, define the "dominant" intention and the notion of effectiveness

of a goal, and compare goal-setting to decision-making and policy setting.

It will then inventory characteristics of goal-setting that must be ac-

counted for in a model of the process.

The Simplest Case


Let us examine the process of establishing a goal in a situation in-

volving two persons. Certain account must initially be taken of the re-

lationship of the two persons. First is the relationship between the

goal positions which each holds. Let us assume that the goal position of

each person combines his individual goals and needs and his instrumental

goals for the activity with which the two persons are concerned. Major

alternatives are either that the goal positions of each person are largely


similar before the process, or are largely in opposition. Next, there is

the relationship of interdependence regarding outcomes of proposed acti-

vity. A subcategory is potential gains from mutual cooperation. Alter-

natives range from the case where each party can achieve his aims inde-

pendently, one party increases his return by mutual goal-setting, each

party increases his return by mutual goal-setting, and finally, the case

where neither party can realize his goals without the cooperation of the

other party. A second subcategory is vulnerability or ability to obstruct

outcomes. The alternatives include the cases where neither party can ob-

struct the achievements of the other party, one party can obstruct the

other party, and both parties can obstruct the outcome achievement of the

other party. Another relationship involves resources. One subcategory

is control of resources. Alternatives are that neither party can affect

the other's resources, one party can affect the other's resources, and

both parties can affect the resources of the other party. A second sub-

category is the elasticity of the resources. Alternatives are that re-

sources are fixed so that they must be divided, or they are flexible and

each party can have greater resources through cooperation. The final re-

lationship considered will be a blanket relationship called dominance,

where dominance is the ability of one party to get the other party to do

what the dominant party wants by any means in addition to the factors

previously mentioned. Means of dominance include legal authority; use of

force; personnel actions such as dismissal or rewards; influence based on

norms, prestige, affection, or leadership, or any other means. The al-

,ornatives on this relationship are that the parties are equal, one party

is dominant in some respects and the other party is dominant in some re-

spects, one party is dominant in all respects but is vulnerable from the


weaker party, one party is dominant in all respects and is not vulner-

able from the weaker party.

It is assumed for the moment that the two persons exist in isola-

tion. Reconciliation of their goals to their environment is not consid-

ered at this time.

Ensuing Actions

In this simplest case, it is assumed that the parties are engaged in

a mutual activity. Decisions will have to be made about the mutual activ-

ity. The decision is based on a goal input. What has to happen in order

to establish the goal input?

One of several things must take place: (1) the two parties find

themselves in agreement on a goal, based on understanding of coincident

aspirations, (2) there is negotiation and compromise, based on analysis

of costs and benefits or modifications of goal aspirations, resulting

in a goal both parties are willing to accept, or (3) one party is able

to compel the other party to accept its goal.

The first alternative implies a meeting of the minds or the forming

of a consensus between the two parties based on good communications and

understanding between them, and a logical recognition of the commonali-

ties of their respective aims. A compromise between equals is a possible

course. The second alternative suggests an agreement between the two

parties, but not an agreement that is the inherent outcome of an effec-

tive interaction. This agreement is an acceptance based in part upon an

analysis of relationships between the parties other than their communica-

tions or information link, such as the ability of one party to give rewards

or restrict resources. The more influential party in this exchange is also


making an assessment of the ability and likelihood of the party who is

making concessions, denying contributions or inflicting "costs" on the

mutual enterprise. The exchange analysis is based on influence on out-

comes, control of resources, and other modes of dominance.

The third alternative is predicated on the assumption that the

party which dictates the goal can compel decisions based on the goal, and

can enforce reasonable compliance with the decisions based on the goal.

If other goal inputs are Introduced into the decision process, the goal

of the dominant party was not the mutual goal, it was only his desired

mutual goal. The dominant party, to set the goal, must in the abstract

be able to establish that his goal will be the goal which is the basis

for decision-making. If then, the dominated party choses to act in a

way contrary to the decision based on the goal, the problem is one of


If the dominant party is unable to enforce compliance with the de-

cisions based on his dictated goal, an absurdity results. It cannot be

rationally said that a goal has been set between these two parties if one

of the parties intentionally does not take the actions which would be

dictated by the goal and the other party cannot alter this situation.

The recognition of the absurdity described above becomes more complicated

when three parties are involved and only one does not comply, or when a

hundred parties are involved and some do not comply. This will be explor-

ed later.

It is obvious that dictated intensions are accepted primarily when

the party being dictated to perceives itself as having no choice. An ex-

ception, of course, is when the party being dictated to is indifferent

about the goal issue under consideration. When each party has a keen


concern for the goal in question, and there is fair equality between par-

ties in that neither affects the other's resources, neither can block the

other's goals, or the balance between control of resources and control of

desired output places the persons in relative equality, it is unlikely

that either one will accept dictated goals from the other party.

The setting of intentions based on understanding and meeting of the

minds offers many benefits in involvement of each party and stimulation of

maximum effort of both parties in a team approach. But it has fatal lim-

itations when the two persons have as an objective an unreconcilable

difference in goal aspirations. This method of setting intentions seems

to have its greatest value when the fundamental goals of the two persons

are not far apart, but the mechanics of getting together is being pursued

(or not pursued) in a way that obstructs working together.

Lack of hegemony by either party, and objective differences in goal

aspirations force the two persons to seek to resolve their common inten-

sions by an exchange process.

The Elements in this Simplest Case

This case illustrates the elements of the goal-setting process.

There were two actors, they had a relationship which could be structured

in several alternative ways, they engaged in an interaction, and there was

an outcome or output from their interaction. Although not part of the

illustration used, the goal-setting process between the two persons would

take place in some environment. The actors would be dependent on the en-

vironment for resources and other inputs,and, unless their goal was some-

thing for their own amusement, they would furnish some output to the en-

vironment. The fact that different individuals would behave differently

was not included at this time.

The Rosolution: An Emergent Outcome

In this simplest case, it would be necessary to describe the rela-

tionships between the two parties before it would be possible to "play"

the interactions, either by choosing the most logical alternative at each

decision point, by extending each alternative action and response of the

two parties to their logical outcome, or making decisions by random pro-

babilities. Even if interaction chains were extended to likely outcomes,

it would be impossible to say with certainty who would act when, what ac-

tion would be taken, and what the outcomes would be. The outcome is

emergent,, the process itself will influence the outcome, and it

is impossible to predict the outcome even if the initial conditions are

known. But this simple case has introduced two very important notions:

the relationship between the two parties is "structured" in a way which

has been identified, and the nature of the process can be described by

categorical types. Both of these factors contribute to a description of

the process. Even though the results are emergent and cannot be predict-

ed with accuracy, the process takes on structure and this structure is

the basis for correlation of outcomes with types of process.

More Complicated Cases

As more actors are added to the goal-setting process, the ways in

which the actors stand on the issue, the alternative decisions and actions

which are open to each actor, and the resultant outcomes increase to such

an extent that it becomes virtually impossible to trace a unique sequence

of the process. But the nature of the process and the dimensions along

which the actors were related in the simple case, provide a framework for

structuring the more complicated case.

There are several salient things that must be added to the simplest


case: the question of the "dominant" intention becomes more complicated

when more than two intentions are possible; the "intention" which is an

input to decision-making may not be the individual goal of any partici-

pant but is an abstraction attributed to a reified social group; the

mediating effects of individual differences in persons must be acknowl-

edged, and the environment must be considered.

The Essential Criterion in Goal-Setting

We have defined a goal as essentially an input into the decision-

making process which represented an intention. It is important that we

make the distinction between an anthropomorphism which represents the

abstract intention of the organization as a whole as opposed to the

aggregate of the goals-for-the-institution as held by the individual

persons and groups involved with the organization. If we wish to con-

ceptually deal with this abstract institutional goal, it is necessary to

have some way to recognize it or at least its implied existence.

We have said that actual practice is not a reliable indication of

the institutional goal because of the imperfections and distortions in

the dominant intention inputs to the decision-making processes, and sub-

sequent actions based on decisions. This observation of behavior may

have been adequate when dealing with two persons, and in an abstract way

is adequate when dealing with the intention of a reified institution.

But when we attempt to describe how this abstract institutional intention

is set or recognized, the gap between observable characteristics and the

abstraction becomes great. Therefore, it becomes useful to infer the in-

stitutional intention from other characteristics of institutional behavior

with which it is possible to deal.

The basic assumption of this study is that the abstract institutional


goals of an institution of higher education can be inferred from an analy-

sis of the arrangements, interrelationships, and social action patterns

which give structure to the organization, and which relate the organi-

zation to the broader social, economic, and political environment within

which it has its existence. The essential step in institutional goal-

setting, then, is to affect the process or structure of the organization

in a way which is a logical consequence of the existence of a particular


Goal Effectiveness

Based on the assumption that the "institutional intention" is recog-

nized by the "structure" of the elements of the organization and its en-

vironment, whether or not a goal is effective is determined by the degree

to which it influences organizational structure. Until a goal position

has influenced relationships in the decision-making process, it is a

tentative goal or a proposed goal. Examples of the type of structure re-

ferred to here would be the elimination of alternatives as decision-making

choices, or the allocation of resources to facilities which dictate a par-

ticular activity.

Focus of attention on structure of the organization makes the notion

of the "dominant intention" coincide with the goal which is effective.

To find dominant intentions, it is not necessary to compare numerical

strength or relative weights of influence, but rather it is necessary to

analyze which intention influenced relationships in the organization. In

the same way, the goal effectiveness is not measured by percent compliance

or quantity of deviation, but by analysis of changes in structure (or

maintenance of structure in the face of proposed change) associated with

a given goal.


Differentiation between decision-making structure and goal-setting

structure is pointed out subsequently.

Social Structure

The notion of social structure is based on the proposition that

there is some order and structure in social behavior, and that social

behavior is not, in Inkeles' words, "a great buzzing blooming confusion"

(42:37), but rather is organized in patterns. This study assumes that

there is some structure to social behavior.

Variables which Describe Structure

Udy has categorized five loci of variation in social behavior (70:490):

1. The individual component.

2. The group component, referring to aspects of the process of

social interaction among people.

3. The morphological component, concerned with spatial-temporal

arrangements of individuals and physical size of groups.

4. The systemic component, focusing on properties of inter-

relationships among activities.

5. The cultural component, comprising ideas which are learned

and shared.

The structure of social behavior, Udy suggests, can be described in

terms of variations of these five classes.

The question, then, is what variation is most significant in describ-

ing patterns of social action in goal-setting and in describing classes of

goal-setting behavior. In an attempt to impose a kind of order on our ob-

servations by formulating a model of the process, we must select those

elements which promise to be most useful in promoting understanding. As


Inkelos has said, "every model, every perspective exacts its full price

from those who use it" (42:45). In Oppenheimer's words: "In order for

us to understand anything, we have to fail to perceive a great deal that

is there" (55: 5). Thus, from the perspective of this study it is neces-

sary to select the types of variations of social behavior which are of

primary significance in giving structure to institutional goal-setting,

and leave the other variations to be treated as mediating variables in

particular cases. This is not to suggest that the mediating variables

are not of great importance. Rather, they are being reserved for subse-

quent studies while the search is made for the most fundamental and gen-

eral structure of goal-setting which will support identification of

classes of goal-setting systems.

Structure of the Goal-Setting Process

The goal-setting process is seen as emphasizing Udy's interaction

level and systemic level. In the simplest case, two persons establish

goals covering their areas of interdependency by a process of simple

interaction. It is posited that patterns of interaction develop which

are the roots of group norms. But it is unlikely that two people would

interact on a completely neutral basis, independent of any relationships

except the character of their interaction. These interactions are in-

fluenced by the cultural norms of the environment within which the inter-

action takes place. The interaction patterns likewise are mediated by

the morphological (spatial-temporal) arrangements of the group involved.

Factors outside the interaction of the two actors, plus patterns or norms

of interaction established by on-going interactions, establish inter-

relationships between the actors and their activities. These interrela-

tionships are, of course, affected by the individual variations of the


human beings involved in the interactions, but the relationships exist

apart from and independent of the people performing the actions. From

the perspective of this study, the patterns of the interaction and the

properties of the interrelationships among the elements in the goal-

setting process describe the structure of the process. Classes of goal-

setting processes are conceived of as clusters of particular variations

of the relationships which form the structure of the process. Examples

of interrelationships are given in the illustration of The Simplest Case

given previously.

The Structure which Defines an Intention

We are obviously considering conceptual structures of several organ-

izational parts:

1. The structure of the elements which set goals.

2. The structure of the decision-making process to which the

goals are inputs.

3. The structure of the institution itself. Again, it is

stressed that this is not necessarily the formal organizational structure,

but the structure of relationships and interactions between elements.

The structure which is indicative of the intentions of the organiza-

tion is the structure of the process which will produce decisions. It

reflects the goals.

The structure which influences the goals is the structure of the

goal-setting process. Its structure is changed by the goal-setting pro-

cess itself, and by feedback inputs from the rest of the organization or

by any forces which change interaction patterns or relationships between


The goal-setting functions, the decision-making functions, the im-


plomenting functions, and other functions abstracted from an institution

of higher education are performed in many cases by the same individual

persons. The relationships may be set concurrently In several function-

al areas of an organization. It is possible to have different relation-

ships between persons and aggregates of persons from one functional area

to another, but it is hardly possible to eliminate the relationships in

one area affecting the relationships in another.

In considering structure, it is necessary to separate concern for

influencing of goal-setting from concern for indications of goal-setting


Characteristics of Goal-Sotting

It has been noted earlier that as goal-setting cases become more com-

plex, attempting to project all alternative chains of interactions becomes

so complex that such a development is no improvement over observed detail.

It is necessary to'aggregate and simplify. In subsequent chapters, the

goal-setting process will be aggregated and simplified by describing it as

a social system. There are certain characteristics of goal-setting, in ad-

dition to structural relationships and interaction patterns, which are

apparent in observed reality, and must be accounted for in the system con-

ceptualization. The following are considered prominent.

Intentional Goal-Setting versus Evolutionary Goal-Setting

There are cases in which the setting of goals for the institution is

approached deliberately and explicitly. In other cases, the direction of

the institution and the linking structure which reveal intentions are

shaped by limited and inexplicit actions which place constraints and

limit alternatives.


To assume that a linear relationship exists between goal-setting

and decision-making as shown in the Idealized model in Figure 1 distorts

what is commonly seen in observed reality. Rather than all goal questions

being worked out in discrete goal-setting interactions, the issue is of-

ten raised for resolution as part of the decision-making process.

This can be better accommodated by a model which includes more in

the goal-setting process, and adds a series of feedback loops to the flow

chart. This will be explored further subsequently from a system perspec-


Goal Veto versus Goal Formulation

Gulick's distinction between policy veto and policy planning or

execution can be applied to goal-setting (34). Some parties influence goals

by initiative in goal formulation while others are influential because

they can veto a goal.

Goals for New Institutions versus Goals for On-going Institutions

A new institution, in its very early stages, is dominated by the ex-

ternal parties who were instrumental in its establishment to fulfill

some purpose. In the very early stages, there is almost no internal com-

ponent to engage in deliberation on goals. In an existing institution,

on the other hand, the internal forces are by comparison much stronger,

the likelihood of diversity is greater, there has been expansiveness in

aims, and institutional norms have developed.

Prospective versus Retrospective Goals

Katz and Kahn distinguish between goals as explicit recognition of

existing practice as opposed to statements about what organizational be-

havior shall be (43:259).


Distinction between Output and Process

Institutional intentions may be transmitted in such forms as instruc-

tions and policy statements, resource allocations, rewards and sanctions,

and quotas or criteria. These same actions may be acts in the goal-

setting process which will be the stimuli for responses from other actors

in the goal-setting process. The distinction between output and process

rests on whether or not the structure of the organization is changed,

i.e., whether the setting is consumated.

Personality and Psychological Factors

In looking at characteristics of goal-setting, it is convenient to

look at situational factors which must be considered, and at personality

and psychological factors which mediate the response which might be ex-

pected from analysis of the situation alone. "Social psychologists have

asserted consistently that characteristics of personality act in combina-

tion with situational factors to cause behavior" (43:290). From the

perspective of this study, the influence of individual human factors is

recognized, but such factors will be considered mediating variables to

be applied to particular cases.

Katz and Kahn have discussed psychological aspects which are pre-

disposing factors in decision-making which apply as well to goal-setting

(43:284-290). They include determination of standards and judgement by

one's own position in social space, identification with an outside ref-

erence group, projection of one's own attitudes and values to others,

simplified and undifferentiated thinking about the world about us, dichot-

omized thinking, concern with the immediate, and oversimplified notions

of causation. They also examine differences in individual personalities

such as ideological versus power factor orientations and concerns, emo-


tionality versus objectivity, creativity versus common sense, and an

orientation'to action versus contemplation (43:290-294).

It is obviously necessary to account for whether the participants

are substantively competent, effective in interpersonal relationships,

rational in thought, and stable in emotions.

Dimensions of Goal-Setting

Katz and Kahn have identified three dimensions on which organiza-

tional decisions can be characterized which apply to institutional goals:

the level of generality or abstraction (aims versus objectives), the

amount of internal and external organization space affected, and the

time duration of the decision. Organizational or institutional goals

would hold a positive position on all three dimensions (43:259-260).

Goal-setting, Decision-making, and Policy-setting

Goal-setting bears a close relationship to both decision-making

and policy setting, but is not conceptually identical. Goal-setting is

more fundamental, and the result of goal-setting is an input into sub-

sequent decision-making. As mentioned above, in goal-setting there is

no a priori framework of values against which to compare alternatives.

Katz and Kahn see goal-setting as one category of policy-making, and

policy-making as decision-making of two types: goal formulation, and

procedures for goal achievement (43:260). Alexis and Wilson ( 1:Section

1) have provided a structuring of the study of organizations which uses

the term decision-making to mean two things: quantitative management

science research on the one hand, and organizational processes concerned

with problem-solving of individuals and groups on the other. The relation-

ship of goal-setting to decision-making is judged to be closer to social


and political problem solving than to management science methods because

goal questions do not lend themselves to being described by a quantita-

tive description of a repetitive process which can be optimized, nor

have the fundamental value judgements been previously made. J. W.

Forrester has described the decision-making process as consisting of

three parts: (1) the creation of a concept of a desired state of affairs,

i.e., goal-setting; (2) monitoring of information of the apparent actual

conditions; and (3) generation of action to remove the discrepancy be-

tween apparent and desired conditions (26). Policy setting describes

how information is converted into action in the decision process. It is

a formal statement, a decision rule, stating the relationship between

information sources and the decisions which result (26).


This chapter has pointed out the difficulty in identifying an in-

stitutional intention and in determining when it has been set. As an

alternative, attention has been shifted from the act which sets an in-

tention to an indication that the intention has been set, namely, the

structure of the decision-making process. Social structure has been

identified as the pattern of interaction and the relationships which

link elements in a process.

Examination of simple processes of goal-setting and of salient ob-

served characteristics of goal-setting has indicated that the number of

alternative actions and responses in even a simple case become unmanage-

ably large. To be useful, an approach must be taken which permits dealing

with aggregates and simplifications. In the next chapter, the systems

approach will be examined as a means to this end.




Up to this point we have looked at the nature of institutional

goals and of the process of goal-setting. The analysis of the goal-

setting process produced two points: the goal-setting system must be

given structure in order to be analyzed, and the factors influencing

goal-setting in the production of hypotheses for analysis. This chap-

ter will seek to provide the framework to accomplish these two ends.

This chapter will survey the characteristics of a system, and of

a social system in particular. The general institutional system, the

goal system and the goal-setting system in higher education will be


Characteristics of a System

The notion of the general system derives from the striking fact

that scientists and theorists working independently in many fields dis-

covered principles and relationships which were comparable (38:38).

Whon these similarities wore examined and consolidated, certain things

were common even though the diversity of the "systems" was very great.

The systems all had "actors" or elements associated with the action. The

entities had properties. There was interaction between these elements

and they wore related in some way. The system was located in some en-

vironment. The separation of the system from the rest of the environment



implied a boundary. The so-called "open" systems had intercourse across

the boundary, whereas the "closed" systems did not. In the open systems,

the environments furnished "inputs" to the system, and received "outputs"

from the system.

The systems conceptualization has proved very useful in structuring

and organizing elements for study, and in directing attention to a whole

rather than to isolated relationships between elements which neglect the

other relationships of these elements. The systems theory is based on

assumptions of non-linearity and complex interaction among the parts

(47:1). The systems notion has provided the structure for formulation

of hypotheses relating to organization and administration, such as Miller's

"Cross-level Hypotheses" (51).

Definition of a System

According to Griffiths, "a system is simply defined as a complex of

elements in interaction" (31:116). Hall and Fagen define a system as a

set of objects together with relationships between the objects and between

their attributes" (36:18). Walter Buckley describes a system as "a com-

plex of elements or components directly or indirectly related in a causal

network, such that each component is related to at least some others in

a more or less stable way within any particular period of time" ( 5:41).

"The particular kinds of more or less stable interrelationships of compo-

nents that become established at any time constitute the particular struc-

ture of the system at that time...!' (5 :41). Maccia has apparently re-

arranged the Hall and Fagen definition to its improvement: "A system is

a set of entities together with their properties and the relationships

between the entities" (47:2).

Properties of Systems

George S. Maccia has described properties of systems (47:3). A

system is "open" if it receives inputs from and returns outputs to the

environment. It is "regulated" if it has feedback. It is "adaptive"

if exchanges with the environment lead to system survival. It is

"stable" if changes in system variables remain within determined limits,

and "compatible with the environment" if it survives. "Wholeness" im-

plies that a change in one part of a system will affect all other parts

and the system as a whole, whole "independence" implies that a change in

at least one element of the system may be made without changing other

parts of the system. If all the elements or entities are independent,

the system is "degenerate". A system may have a hierarchical ordering

of elements, and is "centralized" if one element or set of entities dom-

inates its actions. "Randomness" describes the situation where factors

affecting a system property are so numerous that system action is con-

sidered to be by chance. This listing is not exhaustive.

Imme~art's System Types

Imrmegart has identified four types of systems associated with the

following four theoretical perspectives (41).

1. Comprehensive system theories.-These systems focus on ob-

vious components, the attributes of the components, and the relationship

between components and attributes of components. This type of system

provides a comprehensive look at the specimen in question.

2. Process theories.-These systems focus on the processing of

inputs through subsystems into outputs. Such a system characterizes the

input-output linkages and the transformation process.

3. Theories of system proparties.-A system of this type fo-

cuses on states and properties of the system itself. Attention centers

on universal characteristics of open systems.

4. Output theories.-This type system focuses on outcomes rela-

tive to the system or its environment. It represents a qualitative assess-

ment of end product variables.

In developing a model of the goal-setting process, it is important

to identify which type of system or what combination of system types the

model will be based upon. In this study the concern is with the way in

which intentions are set into the institution. It is posited that rela-

tionships of the entities and components will structure the goal-setting

system in a way that will shape its output. This involves the first cate-

gory, above. The processing of the inputs is dependent on the structure,

and the properties of the system can be tied to its structure.

A Social System

Social system is a rather imprecise term which has been used to

describe many levels of complexity. In the broadest sense, social sys-

tem is used to identify a system which differs from such systems as

biological systems, mechanical systems, other physical systems, and

mathematical systems. A social system involves the interrelated actions

of human actors meeting the necessities of life in a social situation.

In the broad area of human social relationships there are descriptions

of cultural systems, institutional systems, managerial systems, psycho-

logical systems and many others. The critical elements of the most gener-

al social system which differentiates it from other systems is that it in-

volves social acts of human persons or aggregates of persons and relation-

ships between these persons. A social act is defined as "the smallest

unit of directly visible action which has a reasonably clear shared mean-

ing for both the actor and others with whom he is in contact" (42:71).

A Cybernetic Social System Model

Walter Buckley

has described a feedback or general cybernetic model

of a social system. It has five stages which he describes as follows:


Reprinted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

1) AControl center establishes certain desired goal parameters
and the means by which they may be attained; 2) these goal
decisions are transformed by administrative bodies into ac-
tion outputs, which result in certain effects on the state
of the system and its environment; 3) information about these
effects are recorded and fed back to the control center; 4)
the latter tests this new state of the system against the
desired goal parameters to measure the error or deviation of
the initial output response; 5) if the error leaves the
system outside the limits set by the goal parameters, correc-
tive output action is taken by the control center (5 :174).

Subsequently, the goal-setting system will be located in terms of a

general cybernetic model of a college or university.

A College or University as a Social System

In describing the goal-setting process as a social system, it is help-

ful to locate the goal-setting in terms of other systems, and to cite sev-

eral ways in which these systems have been described in the literature.

Attention will be focused first on the institution as a social system, then


on the total goal system of an institution, and finally on the goal-

setting system of a generalized institution.

We have seen in the general characteristics of systems that an open

system has actors or subsystems, inputs from the environment, outputs to

the environment, a boundary, and relationships which link the actors.

Using these elements, two models of a university are presented. The first,

Figure 2, is Herman Koenig's model of the basic structure of a typical in-

stitution of education as a socio-economic process (46:964). The subsys-

tems in the model are identified by functional characteristics rather than

by formal structure of the institution. In Koenig's model these subsystems

or "sectors" are linked by flows of services and resources. Inputs from

the environment include manpower, capital resources, students, scholar-

ships, and environmental facilities. Outputs include developed man power

and such services as research, extension services, and consultation. The

value of this model in this discussion is that it identifies some of the

major components who will have a goal interest, and identifies two types

of links between the components. It also shows the institution thoroughly

embedded in an environment or social context with which it exchanges in-

puts and outputs and from which it cannot be separated in considering its


The second model, Figure 3, is Edward Brink's model for decision-

making in a university system (4 :325). It is a flow model which has four

sub-systems (finance, research, faculty, and students) and three types of

facilities (research facilities, teaching facilities, and student facill-

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By permission of The American Society for Engineering Education

Figure 5.


By permission of Tavistock Publications, Ltd., London


subsystems of a university, and an amplification on the links between

parts of process, both internal and external. These links include flows

of resources, information, and persons. As Brink points out, parts of

this model lend themselves to analysis by operations research techniques,

and parts concern values, objectives, and social effects which may lend

themselves to analysis by value theory. The latter parts are the ones of

interest in this study.

These models suggest elements and relationships which must be taken

into account in developing a goal-setting model.

The Use of Models

The use of models has been an important element in the development of

the physical and social sciences. Although the physical sciences have

generally been credited with leading the social sciences in rigor of

method, it is ironic that the social sciences were much faster to realize

that they were using models. The essence of using a model is that it pro-

vides the general conception or framework and ordering structure upon

which or within which all the component elements and processes in question

are related. It may be analogous to something familiar, it may be an ab-

stract conceptualization, or it may be a mathematical or symbolic relation-


The earliest physical "scientists" who looked at the heavens thought

they saw mythological characters which fit into their general conception

of the order and nature of things. Ptolemy, looking at the heavens in the

second century A. D. using the model of the seven or eight concentric

spheres with the earth at the center saw planets moving in loops traced by

circles riding on circles, and his forecasts agreed reasonably well with

actual observations. Copernicus, using a different model in the sixteenth


century, saw the planets moving in circular orbits around the sun which

was the center of the heavens. Each of these astronomers attempted to

order the heavens in terms of some modal he could understand. The models

were useful, but not necessarily "true", for even the circular orbits of

Copernicus have been indicated to be eliptical by subsequent research.

The question of whether there are large numbers of other stars like our

sun with planets like our earth which could support forms of life depends

on the model used for how planets are formed. One model sees planets as

the debris from cosmic collisions. Another sees planets formed as the

result of condensation of dusts and gasses in space. If the collision

model is used, the probability of other systems in the celestial near

proximity of earth is low. If the condensation model is used, the proba-

bility is much higher. The answer at this point in time depends on which

model is used. The models may be changed again. But each model has been

useful in the formulation of theories which provide a basis to order the


A significant aspect of the current use of models by physical sciences

is that they are now explicit about the fact that they are using models.

In earlier times, they presumed that they were dealing with "facts", and

were discovering "truths" that would hold for all time. A model, on the

other hand, is intended to be the best conceptualization of what is known.

It is useful to the degree that it orders findings and provides the basis

for formulation of new hypothetical relationships for examination and test-


TvDes and Functions of Models

There are many types of models which are intended to servo different

functions. Two major categories are normative models and descriptive


models (67:49). The normative models are concerned with how actors

should act or how a process should take place. A typical planning model

for a college or university describes relationships between resources and

program activity levels under varying circumstances in quantitative terms,

so that variations in one variable may be predicted based on variation of

another variable (61:4). Such a model can indicate the most desirable

alternative when criteria of desirability have been established. The de-

scriptive models attempt to simulate behavior, outline the way a process

actually works, or describe a set of social relationships. An example

from the physical sciences would be a model in miniature of a river basin

which would simulate the expected flood stage and timing when water re-

presenting a given storm intensity was introduced at various places in the


Descriptive models cover a spectrum of stages of development. Ad-

vanced descriptive models may be used to predict relationships or outcomes.

Models of less well understood things or actions may perform an ordering

function which is the basis for further investigation. A model of the

latter type may attempt to order and relate what has been observed as

fragments. It may start with what is believed to be observed and attempt

to describe logical antecedents by applying substantiated rules of behavior.

It may start with a previous status and a subsequent status and describe

the dynamics of the transition. It may focus on a series of events and

attempt to identify participants or impacts on participants. One common

characteristic is that at the time the model is put forward for use, the

whole complex entity or process sequence has not been observed nor sub-

jected to adequate conventional measurement because of complexity or in-

accessibility of parts.


The model in this study is a descriptive model of the second type.

It is predicated upon an examination of what goal-setting consists of.

It is intended, then, to identify who is involved in goal-setting, and to

aggregate these actors into manageable units. It is intended to relate

the actors to the context within which they perform and to which they

must adapt. It is intended to show ways in which the actors are related,

and to suggest classes of goal-setting systems based on particular con-

figurations of these relationships. It is intended to reduce areas of

random variation adding elements of structure at any point in time. By

identifying who is acting and the way these actors can be related, the

model is intended to provide the structure which will support formulation

of hypotheses for testing. The types of hypotheses which are based on

the model are discussed in the final chapter.

The Form of the Model

Some models are diagramatic. Some models are stated in the form of

a theorem or as a mathematical formula which relates the parts. Some

models are entities or processes with which the user is familiar which

can be used as analogs. The model of this study emphasizes relationships.

The model consists of actors in a social system and the relationships

which relate (1) the actors to each other, and (2) the system to its en-

vironment. The assumption of the model is that goal-setting is the emer-

gent outcome of a complex interaction involving persons and aggregates

of persons internal and external to the institution. The cardinal princi-

ple of the model is that the way in which the actors are related gives

structure to goal-setting which reduces randomness and provides the basis

for hypothesizing relationships for further research. The parameters of

the model are (1) the actors, including overlapping relationships and in-


dividual differences, (2) relationships between actors, and (3) input and

output relationships with the environment.

The Goal System

A General Model

In approaching the goal-setting system It is helpful to distinguish

between the goal-setting function and the overall role of goals in an or-

ganization. The latter would include not only goal-setting, but goal

implementation and output monitoring and feedback. Taking the general

cybernetic model, Figure 1, and adapting it to higher education from the

perspective of institutional goals, the model shown in Figure 4 results.

Inputs from outside the institutional system are introduced to that part

of the Control Center which sets the goal parameters, i.e., the goal-

setting system. Information feedback on the output of this system is sent

to the environment.

The processing unit produces outputs, which in turn have impacts.

The actions of each actor are monitored by other actors and by the environ-

ment, and there is feedback on the process, the output, and the impact of

the output. Part of the feedback is concerned with how well the institu-

tion approaches its goals, and part is concerned with whether the goals

are the right goals. The concern of this study is with the latter. This

model serves to relate the goal-setting system to the rest of the institu-

tion and to the environment in the most general case.


Obviously, this general model is too simple, but it illustrates

several important principles. First, it distinguishes between feedback on

deviations between output and goals as opposed to feedback on the suitabil-




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ity of the goals themselves. Next, it identifies in aggregated form some

of the inputs into the goal-setting process. Third, it introduces the

concepts of self-regulation and self-direction. Tho essence of self-

regulation is that the initiation of the system involves a set of rules

for making decisions. The future outcomes from the system are the results

of interactions under the terms of the generating rules (5:61). The

alternative to self-direction would be that the designer (such as the state

legislature or planning committee) would anticipate every contingency in

advance, and spell out all alternatives so that a course of action would

be dictated for every combination of inputs and feedbacks. According to

Karl Deutsch (17:200), a self-directing system requires a full flow of

information on (1) the world outside, (2) the past, with capability for

recall and recombination, and (3) itself and its parts. These, then,

are three prerequisites for the goal-setting system. Fourth, while the

system has the capacity to change its own goals, the freedom of the goal-

setting system is not absolute since it must operate within certain

specific constraints included in some of the inputs from the environment.

The cybernetic goal system is the most comprehensive case. This is

not to say that all elements of a cybernetic system are found in every

goal system. On the contrary, feedback channels or other linkages may be

blocked, imperfect, or missing. But all goal systems may be described in

terms of modifications of the general cybernetic model.


Even though this model may serve to illuminate certain systematic

relations, it is obvious, as Buckley cautions, that there are "complicating

factors." For instance, if we attempt to identify parts of a typical

actual system in terms of this general model, it would be difficult to say

that there was only one goal-sotting control center for an institution.

An example might be the goal influence of discipline-oriented professional

organizations or regional accrediting boards. The impact of multiple

goal-setting centers is the possibility of multiple feedback loops circu-

lating through the system simultaneously ( 5:174).

To assume that the action outputs are directly derived from the goal

parameters is also simple. Buckley points out that the goal parameters

are subject to interpretation and adaptation. There is the matter of

acceptance of the goals by the operators, and the possibility of deliber-

ate sabotage. There are also unforseen consequences, transformation

errors, slippagess", selective attention, and irrationality which may

spring from faulty calculation of outcomes, communication inefficiency,

random influences in subsequent decision-making processes, or "noise" in

transmissions (5 :123). In the typical higher education context, the re-

lative autonomy of departments and the freedom of the individual professor

would suggest a loose connection between institutional goals and action


In the information gathering stage, there are problems of ability to

make accurate measurements of what has actually happened. When some prob-

lem situation begins to become apparent in society, it is extremely diffi-

cult to say that the problem can be attributed to the education system, to

say nothing of pin-pointing just what aspect of the education system.

Then there is the problem of the time lag. The impact of many aspects of

higher education does not become apparent for many years. Finally, as

3uckley points out, there is the natural tendency of those involved to see

the best part of the results of what they have done and to overlook the

bad parts (5 :175).


The problems of feedback testing are obvious. Feedback information

is not necessarily easily associated with a particular goal. There is

often intransigence in the face of societal change.

Elaboration of tho Gennral Cybernetic Model

In locating the goal-setting system, it is helpful to expand elements

of the general cybernetic model. Katz and Kahn have developed a categor-

ization which elaborates on the general model. In identifying the goal-

setting system, it is helpful to identify it in terms of other systems or

subsystems in the organization. Katz and Kahn have described five types

of subsystems in organizations: the production system, concerned mainly

with task accomplishment; maintenance systems, concerned with mediating

between task demands and human needs; boundary systems, one type of which

is concerned with procurement and product disposal, and another type, the

institutional system, which is concerned with social support and legiti-

mation; the adaptive system, concerned with intelligence, research, and

planning; and the managerial system, concerned with control, coordination

of elements, and coordination of external requirements and organizational

needs and resources (43:86). In such a scheme of organizational make-up,

the goal-setting system is judged to span both the institutional subtype

of boundary system and those functions of the managerial system concerned

with "coordinating external requirements and organizational resources and

needs". Katz and Kahn make a comparison with Parson's scheme of an

institutional system concerned with external relations, the managerial

system concerned with internal administration and allocations, and the

technical systems concerned with most of the other functions of their more

detailed classification. While Parson's scheme makes a very important

distinction, the goal-setting system as conceived for this study specifi-


cally desires to combine the institutional system with goal concerns of

the mnnagerial system. In addition, it is desired to conceptually pro-

vide for goal-setting participation of the technical system elements, and

of students which may be thought of as in some ways comparable to a

client system.

The Goal-setting System


Having located the goal-setting system as part of a general cyber-

netic goal system as shown in Figure 4, and in relation to the organiza-

tional subsystems of Katz and Kahn as described above, we focus on the

goal-setting systems itself. By identifying the entities in this system

and the points of contact between the system and its environment, we

are in a position to describe the structure of the system at any partic-

ular time by describing the relationships among elements and between

elements and the environment at a particular time. Subsequent chapters

will examine the nature of the relationships.

The Entities of the Goal-setting System

The entities which carry on activities within a social system may be

groups or individuals (64:83). These entities are identified by several

names in the literature. In the literature of organization theory, com-

plex sub-elements are commonly referred to as subsystems. Dahl, on the

other hand, uses actor to describe "...individuals, groups, roles, offices,

governments, nation-states, or other human aggregates" (15) with whom the

action can be associated, and Singer (64) uses actor to refer to either

groups or individuals. Kelman (44:592f) and Campbell (6) are concerned

with the role of aggregates of persons as entities in analysis, and


Cattell (8 ) treats measurement of group behavior as an entity.

Dobbins and Lee assert that the "main constituencies" of American

higher education are "students, faculty, administrators, trustees, and

persons from public life" (18:xi). To cast this in the systems mold, a

boundary must be identified, as discussed in the following section. In

this study it will include the student, faculty, administrators, and

trustees, while "persons from public life" will join other social forces

as inputs from the environment.

While the aggregate entities indicated may not exactly fit the struc-

ture of a particular institution, they can be adapted by making their iden-

tification depend on function rather than on a formal status, where a stu-

dent is one who studies and learns, the faculty are those who teach and

research, and administrators and trustees perform the textbook functions

of those respective roles. It is also apparent that the subsystems are

not monolithic units. In the use of the conceptualization, the entities

are to be given the properties which reflect their composite nature, as

required by the particular situation. To the extent that an element has

a separate analytical identity, it can be treated as a separate entity.

Thus, deans may be separated from administration and faculty, and graduate

faculty may be separated from the rest of the faculty.

Entities in Several Systems

The entities that appear in the goal-setting system are not thereby

excluded from any other systems. On the contrary, the faculty for instance,

appearing in the goal-setting system, would also have a role in a goal im-

plementation system or a teaching system cr in other systems depending on

how systems were conceptualized and developed.

Figure 5 illustrates interlocking and overlapping systems.


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Subsystem as a Level of Analysis

It has been stated in Chapter I that this study focuses on the level

of analysis of collective entities or subsystems which make up the goal-

setting system, and that at this level attention will be concentrated on

structural characteristics based on relationships between the collective

entities or subsystems. It is obvious that these subsystems have inter-

nal dynamics of their own as well as dimension of behavior of the sub-

system as a whole.

Specific Subsystems

The description of subsystems which follows is intended to describe

the subsystems or collective entities of the goal-setting system and to

suggest ways in which subsystems may vary.

The student subsystem.-Recent evaluations of the make-up of students

suggests that it is important to analyze the composition of the student

subsystem in any particular case. Examples of the make-up of students

are found in several sources. Robert Smith reported that at San Francisco

State College just over half of the student body supported the student

strike and just under half supported the faculty strike (65:2). Daniel

Seligman in "A Special Kind of Rebellion" describes college students as

roughly divided into a 3/5 segment concerned with personal status improve-

ment; and a 2/5 segment which tends to radical views, a disdain for con-

ventional values, and a rejection of the measures of success which the

larger segment accepts (62). R. M. Chapin, Jr. has combined The Educa-

tional Testing Service estimate that only 2% of all students are wreckers

who are willing to destroy universities in an attempt to radicalizee"

with Dean Franklin Ford's description of degrees of militancy as a series

of concentric circles. The result estimates 2% wreckers, 6% militants,


20. protesters, and 407 concerned in the entire student body (66:45).

The impact of these observations of the nature of students as an entity

in the goal-setting system is that the student sub-system may have more

than ono simultaneous output, or may react by segments rather than as a

monolithic whole. To the extent that the internal conflicts of the ac-

tors are not resolved and are not compatible, it may be most effective

to consider segments of a subsystem as an independent entity in the

goal-setting system.

A student subsystem may have overall characteristics which distin-

guish it from other student groups. For instance, it may be well or-

ganized, practical rather than theoretical in orientation, radicalized,

aggressive, or statistically described in some other significant way.

The faculty subsvstem.-Notions of the role of the faculty in the

life of an institution often imply a consensus among the-faculty on what

should be done or not done on academic matters. This idealized notion

includes the suggestion that the consensus was devised by the strength

of rational exchange of views. Dr. Robert Smith of San Francisco State

College has made some observations on the faculty of that institution

(65). They were polarized. A poll concerning support for a strike by

part of the faculty showed that about one-third of the faculty supported

the strike, but 64% actually opposed the strike (65:2). In the San

Francisco case, the polarization was in part over racial and ethnic

issues and aspirations (65:3). It also involved cleavages on ideological

issues, and divisions on how to respond to problems. It could, of course,

be divided to a greater or lesser degree on any identifiable issue. The

faculty shows an increasing tendency to identify with professional organ-

izations rather than with the institution. Samuel Gould sees faculty mem-


bers as concerned primarily with advancement within their own par-

ticular disciplines and concerned with improvement of working condi-

tions (30:225).

Max Ways, in an article entitled "The Faculty is the Heart of the

Trouble," describes faculty as characteristically detached from a par-

ticular community and a particular institution (71). Kerr sees faculty

as divided into humanists versus scientists, young professors versus

those called to graduate teaching and research, and those concerned

with general education versus those dedicated to professional education

(45). The faculty may be well organized or unorganized, and may vary

in cohesiveness and functional unity. Identification of the character-

istics of the faculty is a major step in describing the goal-setting


The board of control subsystem.-David Fellman observes that the

role of "board" is handled in many ways. Some states have single

boards, some have several boards, and several have super boards or co-

ordinating agencies. Boards also vary in organization, powers, and

patterns of behavior (25:105). Fellman points out that the triparte

"Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" adopted in 1966

by the American Association of University Professors, the American

Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Uni-

versities and Colleges outlines the role of the board as "relating the

institution to its chief constituency," and "relating the likely needs

of the future to predictable resources, ...obtaining of adequate funds,

and long range planning" (25:114). While the board has ultimate respon-

sibility for general supervision of academic standards, Fellman holds

that this responsibility actually rests "in other hands."


Mrs. Henry B. Owen suggests another dimension along which boards

may vary: awareness. As a university regent, and President of the

Association of Governing Boards, she makes the observation that many

trustees are unprepared for the role they must play, do not understand

real changes that have taken place since their student days, lack in-

sights on the complexities of a modern university, and have slight com-

prehension of the problem of their institution's relevance to today's

world (57:188). She particularly regrets cases where the administra-

tion and the board have a minimum exchange of ideas.

A profile of the typical trustee has been made by Rodney T.

Hartnett (69). It is based on a survey of 5,000 trustees representing

more than 500 colleges and universities. The majority of trustees are

elected by the public, and hold themselves accountable to their constit-

uency and not to their campuses. They are more conservative than fac-

ulty; in their fifties on the average, but a third are over sixty;

typically protestant; and most commonly businessmen with incomes over

$30,000 a year. The average trustee of both public and private insti-

tutions spent about five hours a month on trustee business, and few have

read the books and journals on higher education. The majority of

public college trustees felt that authority and responsibility should

rest with the administrators rather than with faculty and students.

The board of control as a whole may have characteristics which vary

widely in regard to such matters as openness, desire to hold power, use

of authoritarian methods, intervention and meddlesomeness in institutional

details, trust of subordinates, and ability to judge men.

The administration subsvstem.-A hasty glance might make the admin-

istration seem more monolithic than the other subsystems, but it has many


factions as well. Millett points out that a major division is between

the academic staff and the auxiliary staff which is concerned with

facilitating services (52:182). Kerr points to differences between

administrations in that they can be closer to the faculty or closer to

the board of control (45). This could be applied to individual members

or groups of administrators, and is related to the situation of some

persons who are concurrently both faculty members and administrators.

Administrations, like other subsystems, have characteristic differ-

ences such as ability to react rapidly, effective internal organization

and low saturation points.

The Boundaries and the Environment

In addition to the internal subsystems mentioned above, many enti-

ties have an interest in the goals of public higher education. These

include legislative bodies, executive agencies of the political unit

concerned, the Federal government, foundations, accrediting agencies,

professional societies, employers of graduates, alumni, parents, special

interest groups, taxpayers, and an abstraction representing the will of

society. Since the chain of interrelationships leads on and on, it is

desired to place a conceptual boundary around the primary elements, and

treat relationships with elements outside of this boundary as inputs and

outputs.. Campbell has discussed a number of criteria for establishing a

boundary (6 ), but they imply a search for a preciso delineation which

can be adequately set by more arbitrary means and subsequently adjusted

if required. Several possible criteria may be applied to set the bound-

ary. First, the goals of the institution should be a primary interest

of the element in question. Second, the influence of the element of the


process should be direct rather than indirect or through another party.

Third, the elements within the system should include those with high

frequency of interaction. Fourth, the elements within the system should

be the elements which exert the greatest influence on goal-setting.

In this study, the descriptive boundary will be considered to fall

between the board of control and the legislature or agencies of state

government. This is consistent with the perspective of Corson, who, in

his study of governance, looked at "...scholars, students, administra-

tors, and trustees associated together in a college or university" (14:13).

The location is not critical, and may be moved to accommodate a particular

situation. In this location, it permits treating the acts of the legisla-

ture, agencies of state government and the other interested parties listed

above, as inputs without becoming involved with all the factors impinging

in these entities. These entities are parts of the environment. The

environment is more than the physical things which are outside the system.

It includes economic factors and sociological factors which impinge on

the system.

The InDuts and Outouts

In a general social system, the inputs consist of resources, demands,

and other information. Resources include money, people (both students

and staff) and things. For instance, Maccia has described input demands

to an educational institution as demands for personalities of a particular

type, demands for role-takers (educated or trained graduates) of a partic-

ular type, demands for information, and demand for desired commodities

(47:9). We have said that the environment is not only physical but social,

economic and political. The inputs, in turn, bear information on physi-

cal, social, economic, and political matters.


A distinction must be made between inputs to the institutional

system and inputs to the goal-setting system. The goal-setting system

essentially inputs demands for goals; information about capabilities,

consequences, and resources; and sanctions or threats of sanctions in

support of demands. It puts out goals and information about goals.

As an illustration, the institutional system inputs resources, whereas

the goal-setting system inputs information about resources. The subsystems

and individual actors in the goal-setting system are also involved by

overlapping memberships in distribution of resources, control of force,

maintenance of internal order, and exercise of legitimate authority.

The change in these factors affects relations between subsystems, and

goal decisions affect these factors. But these are not the prime outputs

of the goal-setting system. The relationships between subsystems will

be developed more fully in the next chapter.

It has been observed earlier that individual actors and collective

entities have roles in several systems. This has an impact on the con-

ceptualization of inputs entering the goal-setting system. While some

inputs, especially environmental inputs remote from the institution

itself, will essentially enter the system-at-large, many inputs to the

goal-setting system enter a subsystem because of the involvement of that

subsystem in a system other than the goal-setting system.

The Goal-setting System as a Social System

The goal-setting system clearly has a set of social ways and is a

social phenomenon as defined earlier. It involves more than the actions

of individuals meeting the necessities for life. The existence of a

higher education institution is based on the differentiation and speciali-

zation of human activities to meet a particular set of requirements of


life in a social system. This social action involves both social inter-

action between persons, and structures of social relationships.

Basic Goal-setting System: Matrix of the Goal-setting Model

The basic goal-setting system, as described in preceding para-

graphs, is the matrix within which the goal-setting model is embedded

and will develop. Examination of the cybernetic goal system, discussed

previously, and of the overlapping systems of which actors are members

shows the relationship of the goal-setting system to its environment and

point out its inputs and outputs. By identifying the relationships

between the composite entities of this system, the model will take in-

ternal form. Establishment of values on relationship dimensions will

establish a structural variation of the model for a particular case at

a particular time.

The subsystems may take a variety of actions from an inventory to

possible actions. The inventory of actions include the following:

1. Propose a goal.

2. Take an action which affects goal-setting.

3. React to the goal proposal of another.

4. React to the actions, proposals, or demands of others.

5. React to an input.

The reactions may include agreement with other subsystems, nego-

tiation and compromise with other subsystems or actors, yielding to or

compelling another subsystem or actor to accept an action or idea, as

discussed in Chapter III. It may also include failure to reconcile

differences, and inability to enforce acceptance.

As stated above, some process flow will take place within each


subsystem which involves (1) reacting to goal proposals of others,

(2) taking actions which influence goal-setting or which place con-

straints on possible goals, (3) reacting to acts by others, (4) taking

actions which influence the relationships between subsystems.

It is obvious that this model becomes more and more complex as

simultaneous demands are placed, institutional and environmental factors

change, and subsystems react in a fragmented rather than a monolithic

way. But a fundamental assumption underlying this model is that the

alternative actions which the subsystems may take will be restricted by

the relationships among the entities. Put another way, the relation-

ships between entities at any point in time forms a structure which

influences the process of goal-setting and the resultant output. In

the next chapter, the relationships between subsystems will be examined.




The previous chapter has described goal-setting as a process in

a social system. In this chapter we will add to the structure of the

system by considering three things: the relationships among subsystems,

and between system elements and the environment; patterns of interaction;

and mediating variables.

Type of Relationship

In any organization, entities are related in some way. Some actors

or entities receive instructions from others, some depend on others for

funds, some must depend on others for essential information. From a

systems perspective, entities may be linked by flows of resources,

flows of services or people, flows of demands and information, power

and authority relationships, interaction patterns, and other interde-

pendencies. It is axiomatic that in a goal-setting system the actors

will be related to each other and to the environment in several ways.

Information Links

Since the goal-setting system does not handle a physical commodity,

one of the obvious links between actors is the information link. The

entities must communicate with each other. Information links bring the

knowledge about resources, capabilities of the institution, analysis of



expected consequences, impacts of particular goal-outputs on the organ-

ization or in the society, and intentions of other parties which lead

to understanding. Hall has pointed out that one type of control in an

organization or group is based on control of the information upon which

decisions are based (37). Effective participation is predicated on

knowledge of intentions, capabilities, and actions of others; knowledge

of one's own relative capabilities; and information on feasible alter-

natives and probable consequences of alternatives.

The information links can have a number of characteristics. The

links may or may not exist for a particular subsystem, and links that

do exist may vary in quality. The communication net may vary in effi-

ciency (43:236). Miller has examined the overload of an information

link (49). Information channels may involve excessive time lag, noise,

or filtering by others. They may be intermittent, biased, or otherwise

distorted. Another factor, difficult to separate from information

links, is the ability of the receiver to interpret a technically accu-

rate and adequate message as meaning what the sender intended. More

detailed treatment of Communication theory is given by Cherry (9).

Relative Goal Interest

It is axiomatic that the entities in the goal-setting system are

related in a way that depends on their relative degree of interest on

a particular goal issue. A subsystem or an entity in the environment

may have no interest in a particular class of issue and therefore will

not be involved in the interaction. Relative goal interest may make

entities allies or it may put them in competition. Friedrich has sug-

gested there may be common interests, complementary interests, and

others (27:469). The continuum runs from common interests through


interdependent goals, complementary goals, independent goals, goals that

can be achieved concurrently, goals which require another to make an

altornativo choice, goals which reduce the payoff of another party,

goals which force another to adjust from optimum to a position still

considered satisfactory, goals which threaten the vital interests of

another, to goal interests which are objectively totally incompatible.

The relations between actors in the goal-setting system will certainly

change depending on how the goal interests are related. For instance,

if no serious economic or political questions are at stake, the environ-

mental elements can be expected to leave matters of defining good edu-

cation to the institution. The emphasis on resolution in this case is

then the interaction among the actors within the institution.

Relative Power of Entities

It is apparent that a relationship exists between actors and en-

tities in the goal-setting system and its environment which is based on

relative power. Power will be defined as any force that results in be-

havior that would not have occurred if the force had not been present

(43:197). Obviously this definition is very broad and includes forces

ranging from influence to coercion. Eases for power include control of

information, logic and cogency of an argument, ability to affect output,

ability to obstruct operations or inflict costs, the support of norms

and conventions, prestige, control of granting prestige, control of re-

wards and punishment, influence on recruitment developed loyalties,

leadership, charisma, denial of services, withholding essential infor-

mation, subversion, damage to prestige of the institution, influence on

prospective students or faculty, influence on sources of resources, de-

rogatory influences on users of graduates and research, physical threat,


and any resource which enables one element to influence another. Factors

affecting relative power of entities include expertise, willingness to

use power, willingness to expend effort, attractiveness, interest,

location and position, and time criticality (48). It may be assumed

that subsystems can conceptually be compared as more powerful, equal,

or less powerful in terms of any particular basis of power.

One of the bases of power is the availability of time and surplus

capability to devote to questions of goal-setting. If between two

parties, one has the time to devote to planning a goal-setting stra-

tegy and influencing the goal-setting process, it is expected he will

be most influential. As a minimum, the party who is not available is

reduced to a veto posture.

The power of an entity springing from the bases of power mentioned

above can be assessed from at least four perspectives. One is an

objective measure of power, which might be compared to a military assess-

ment of two nations based on a count of the number of men and weapons of

similar type and condition. The second is a measure which not only con-

siders objective power, but attempts to measure the effectiveness with

which the power can be used. The third measure includes a willingness

to act. A power superiority is insignificant if the party holding it lacks

a willingness to act. Conversely, a relatively weak power with a fanatic

willingness to act exerts influence disproportionate to his objective

power. The fourth measure is a measure of the perceived power of a sub-

system as observed by other subsystems. This includes both the percep-

tion of objective power, effectiveness in using the power, and the will-

ingness or disposition to act. In this initial formulation of the model,

attention will be focused on power as measured by perceived power.


Independence of Entities in the Institutional System

Several special cases of relationships between entities exist

which are judged to be based on power relationships. One is the in-

dependence of some subsystems in the institution, or the looseness of

the coupling between parts of the institution. From one perspective

this may be viewed as the absence of a resource dependency or suscep-

tibility to sanctions or other influences. In addition, however,

there is a degree of indifference which may exist between elements

which gives the lesser party a relative autonomy which would not other-

wise be suggested by the power position of the stronger party. A third

circumstance is the situation where the structural relationships pro-

vide certain autonomy. For instance, the teaching of classical English

literature may be the vehicle used by a professor for espousing a par-

ticular political philosophy.

This degree of looseness or tightness of coupling ranges along a

spectrum that includes closely controlled systems, systems with a domi-

nant subsystem, systems where some subsystems have veto power, systems

with little interdependence, systems with few goals, and systems with

poor goal resolution and non-integrated sub-systems.

Degree of Participation

Another special case of an overall relationship among entities

based on power is the degree of participation of actors and entities

in the goal-setting process. "Participation" includes many types of

behavior from being able to state views and make requests, to effective

equality in determining the course of events. The relationship between

power and participation ranges from equal influence on outcomes based


on equal power to consultation based on norm or expectation that con-

sultation take place to rational assessment of the benefits of partici-

pation on satisfaction of organization members and subsequent support

for organizational policies, or to expected contributions from a broader

source of information or ideas. The reason participation is linked with

power in this model is that if participation is granted on any basis

other than power, it can be revoked. If an administration practices

joint student-administration participation on some issues because of the

desirable effect this has on student satisfactions, this represents a

calculated strategy by the administration. When an issue arises that

is perceived by the party granting the participation to be more vital

than the benefit to be received by participation, the participation will

be restricted or terminated unless it is backed by power.

The Cost-reward Relationship

When a particular power link is shown to exist and even when a

particular type of power is used by an actor or entity, the use of this

power may or may not trigger use of another type of power by another

element. It is posited for the model of the goal-setting system that

a cost-reward analysis will be made-by each subsystem. A subsystem

which contemplates the use of a power resource to establish a goal po-

sition recognizes that the use of power will incur certain costs. Based

on its perceptions of the costs, it will evaluate whether it can afford

both the use of power resources and the cost incurred. The element

desiring to respond will compare the costs of not acting with the costs

of acting, and will attempt to evaluate whether the benefits expected

warrant the cost likely to be incurred. Since the entities involved

are not related to each other exclusively in the goal-setting system,


the cost may be applied in another place. The cost-reward analysis

underlying the exchange theories of Homans (40) and Blau (3 ) is an im-

portant part of goal-setting.

Usable Power

A summary view of power relationships is highlighted by two consi-

derations. First, entities have a broad variety of power resources

which range from strong to negligible. An absolute resource must be

translated into its relative effectiveness. When an entity elects to

use a power resource, (1) another subsystem or entity may be able to

counter the use of one type of power with other types of power, or make

the use of power too costly for the gain which is expected to be real-

ized, (2) a combination of other entities may be able to block the use

of power by application of their combined power resources, or by making

the use of power too costly, or (3) the subsystem may have a dominant

power position, or may expect a gain which makes the costs acceptable.

Second, the use of a power resource promises some gain and involves

some costs. Rational use of power requires that gains exceed costs.

Usable power is a power resource which promises to be effective,

and which exists in circumstances in which the entity holding the re-

source is willing to pay the costs of using the power resource.

Tvoe of Conflict Resolution Behavior Practiced

The elements of the system are related differently depending on

whether they practice a cooperative or a competitive type of conflict

resolution. Extending interpersonal experience to interactor experience,

it is asserted that the outcome is often different depending on the type

of conflict behavior practiced.- There are a variety of relationships


between subsystems suggested by the inventory of alternatives in conflict

resolution. Feigl has suggested these seven techniques for setting value

difference: persuasion, re-education, psychotherapy, compromise, seg-

regation, coercion, and violence (24). Exchange theory suggests a neg-

otiated resolution. Kelman suggests approaches based on altering per-

ceptions and definitions of the situation (44). Thompson and McEwen

have identified strategies for setting goals which they classify as

either competitive or cooperative, with the cooperative strategies sub-

divided into bargaining, co-optation, and coalition approaches (68).

Another alternative is "no resolution", that is, tolerance of divergent

goals or action without regard to established or attempted established


Interaction Patterns

The importance of interaction patterns as relationships among en-

tities which give structure to a system is based on the assumption that

social acts load to social interactions, and that social interactions

combine to form sequences which, if repeated, become established in

patterns. Then by a sort of social inertia and a tendency to follow

trails that have already been blazed, as it were, social interactions

will have a tendency to follow established patterns.

Social relationships.-Earlier the "social act" was defined as a

unit of visible action with shared meanings. If another person responds

to a social act with another social act, a simple social interaction has

taken place. Social interactions can combine to form interaction

sequences. Sets and patterns of interaction sequences may be conceived of

as constituting social relationships (42:71).


Importance of the character of the interaction.-In examining the

goal-sotting system in higher education, it appears that some social

relationships are influenced by the character of the interaction, where-

as others are influenced by factors other than the character of the inter-

action. The latter situation is illustrated by the fact that some rela-

tionships between entities are based on the nature of the power relation-

ship, or the perceived nature of the power relationship, rather than on

the character of the interactions involved. For analytical treatment of

relationships, it is necessary to divide the relationships into those

that focus on the character of interactions involved on the one hand,

and those that are most heavily influenced by factors other than the

interaction on the other. Relationships treated as "social relation-

ships" will be those whose character derives heavily from the nature and

character of the interactions per se.

Social relationships have been described in many ways. Inkeles dis-

tinguished between primary and secondary relationships (42:72). Distinc-

tions can be made by quantitative aspects such as number of participants,

spatial arrangement, and frequency and duration of interaction. Others

such as Kingsley Davis (16) and Talcott Parsons (58) have focused on

qualitative aspects of social relationships.

Orvis Collins has formulated a theoretical process of simple inter-

action (13). By simple interaction he means essentially interaction in

the general case, consisting of origin and response, without considera-

tion of a particular cultural matrix or of the personality of individual

actors. Collins sees three types of interactions: closed events, where

the response is to the originator; open events, where the response is to

another actor; and non-responses or incompleted responses where the


response act is to do nothing. These types or classes may be combined.

Interaction events may be serially related to form interaction sequences.

Collins sees sequences as having continuity and directionality. He has

presented a series of models of the ways in which events and sequences

can be related.

Recognizing that the goal-setting process is a series of inter-

actions, the significant question is what influences the linking of in-

teraction events among subsystems into sequences. It is postulated that

the pattern of interaction sequence determines the class of goal-setting


Collins' formulation contributes further to descriptions of inter-

action sequences. An origin act "opens a field" of possible responses

to that origin act. Collins has called all possible combinations or

responses that can occur for that origin act a "response field".

Obviously, all possible responses to any origin act in a goal-

setting system are not likely to occur. The sequence of interaction

will be influenced by many things. First, as Collins has pointed out,

the originating actor or entity can to some extent, frame the response

alternatives. Second, the responding element has discretion in his

response. Third, it is postulated that there are structural relation-

ships in the relationships between the actors which will influence the

character of the interaction sequence. Fourth, Collins points out that

an interaction system develops a culture which is derived from the

history of the interaction system oer se (13:19).

The first two influences, above, are related to the characteristics

of the system elements. The third influence is related to characteris-

tics of the relationships between acting entities. The fourth influence


is associated with the particular system.

Social relationships in goal-setting.-When social acts lead to

social relationships through patterns of interaction, a precedent has

been set. It may be well received by system elements, or it may gen-

erate negative reaction. To the degree that the social relationship

is supported and repeated, it establishes a norm. It is posited that

the primary importance of social relationships in the system model of

goal-setting is their role in the establishment of a system norm, and

the fact that acts and interactions will tend to follow the norm.

Social relationships or interaction patterns are Influenced by

other things than the character of the interaction, divorced from the

influence of other relationships such as have been developed in this

Chapter. But the norm-setting influence of interaction patterns per

so must be considered.

Mediating Variables

The relationships described in this chapter are not the only

variables that must be looked at in determining why a system behaves

as it does in a particular case. The relationships described exist in

some social and cultural context. A particular power relationship, for

instance, may have a different overall impact in one context than in


In addition, individual differences of members of organizations

may have a significant effect on events. Since no individual actor comes

to the process tabula rasa, the interaction in goal-setting will depend

heavily on what each actor as a person brings to the process. Preju-

dices, values, vested interests, misinformation, irrationality, and


background information gaps must be considered. The actor's percep-

tions are very important to the interaction: his perception of threats

to what ho values or wants, his perceptions of the information inputs

to the goal-setting systems, his perception of his personal image, his

perception of his ability to influence the group or realize his inter-

nalized goals, and his perceptions of the motives of the other actors

in the goal-setting system and his affective relation to them.

One of the mediating variables that must be taken into account

about a particular system is the capability of individuals. This in-

cludes native intelligence, training, effectiveness, recognition of

opportunity, ability to use research, ability to handle many simul-

taneous problems, and ability to deal with the full complexity of the

problem. Another limit of capability has its genesis in organizational

structure but is manifested in personal limitations, and that is the

problem of being so busy and so engaged that adequate time and resources

are not available for the goal-setting problems.

Consideration of mediating variables requires looking again at the

level of analysis of this study, outlined in Chapter I. An important

part of the perspective of this study is the focusing of attention on

collective entities in the goal-setting system, and on the relationships

between these collective entities or subsystems. But it is also impor-

tant to consider the mediating variables in particular cases, and not

attempt to claim that relationships between entities is a complete descrip-

tion of the goal-setting process.

The Chanqing Character of Relationships

The structure of a goal-setting system based on relationships between

subsystems is a dynamic and morphogenic configuration. This is


illustrated well by looking at a new institution, and looking at the

same institution after a number of years. In the first instance, the

influence of many subsystems is missing or weak. The goals tend to

be directed by the entity which established the institution, and are

further filled in by the early administrators. As the faculty begins

to develop a collective "character" of its own and the various publics

who the institution serves or could servo analyze their interests,

they enter the process in a stronger way. Constraints and pressures

which affected the new institution are modified, and the whole process

of setting the goals undergoes change and development. The linking

relationships change, some easily and some with great difficulty.

The changing character of relationships is an important consider-

ation, both to the nature of the process and when ways of influencing

goal-setting are considered.

Significance of Relationships Among Entities and Subsystems

This chapter has identified relationships between entities. It

is suggested that by describing the relationships along these dimen-

sions, a particular configuration or structure of the system is set

up. With a given configuration, a particular outcome cannot be pre-

dicted. But the alternatives are greatly reduced. Even more important,

the groundwork is laid for describing major variations in goal-setting

processes. These variations or configurations are building blocks for

hypothetical relationships between goal-setting and other institutional





Having described a goal-setting system and analyzed the relation-

ships between entities which give structure to this system at any point

in time in regard to a particular goal issue, a variety of alternative

structures of the system can be developed from this conceptualization.

The approach of this chapter is, first, to structure the goal-setting

system in a way which is implied by several salient conventional models

of goal-setting. Such an examination suggests several weaknesses of

limited models. The second part of the chapter will examine certain

specific types of goal-setting systems which are associated with par-

ticular relationships between entities.

Structures Imolied by Conventional Models

Certain conventional models for goal-setting imply a particular

type of structure of the relationships in the goal-setting system.

Selected configurations of models which have been mentioned in the lit-

erature or advocated as desirable will be examined for implied structu-

ral prerequisites.

The Autonomous System

To make the basic goal-setting system an autonomous system it would

essentially have to be independent of the environmental dictates and



dependencies tied to demands. The institution would still require

capital resources, but they would have to bo provided without con-

straints. To be completely autonomous, the institutional representa-

tives would have to be able to levy demands for the financial resources

they need and consider appropriate for the good of society and higher

education. The institution would still need students. Although this

is no problem in the present context, goal-setting systems cannot

neglect the fundamental motivations which attract students or the fac-

tors relating to graduates being successfully placed in society. A

completely autonomous system implies that the system be the sole judge

on appropriateness of output.

It seems that a fully autonomous goal-setting system for higher

education does not fit the realities of the way resources and people

inputs are providedfor most of public higher education in the United

States at this time. Analysis of the benefits of autonomy for insti-

tutions of higher education suggest degrees of autonomy, however, which

offer advantages. Each of these must be evaluated for feasibility in

terms of the input and output relationships which it implies.

Degrees of autonomy are often purchased at the price of some other

situation. For example, limitations or constraints on involvement in

political or economic affairs may be laid on the institutional elements

by environmental entities as a price for partial autonomy.

The Collegial and Hierarchical Configurations of the Model

The collegial model for goal-setting implies a structuring of the

goal-setting system which includes some variation of the theme that all

the actors should participate in goal-sotting with reasonable equality

in a situation leading to consensus or resolution by some means other


than arbitrary exercise of status prerogatives. It has been described

as administrators, faculty and students interacting in the "...full,

equitable, and rich involvement in the process of campus government..."

(11:200). The benefits of such a structuring include taking maximum

advantage of the contributions of all members, and mobilization of

support for the output of the goal-setting process.

Such a structuring applies more to the relations among actors

than relations between the system and the environment, as was the case

in the autonomous system. It does, however, make it necessary for full

collegiality that the environment look to the system as a whole to take

responsibility for goal-setting rather than charging specific actors

to exercise responsibility to the authoritative allocators of value in

the environmental policy.

There are manydegrees of collegiality and participation ranging

from the case where the students, for instance, are merely in communi-

cation with the administration to the case where they act as equals.

The case of acting as equals might best be visualized as comparable to

giving each subsystem a letter identification rather than a function-

related name and extending interaction chains by probabilistic means.

The reality of the situation, however, is that power relationships as

described in Chapter V do exist. Certain entities, especially in the

environment, do have goal interests which they will support with power

based on a cost-benefit estimate. Part of this cost-benefit analysis

reflects the benefits of the collegial approach to resolution of goals,

and the costs of violating norms or using coercive power. But it would

appear that collegiality in goal-setting operates within constraints

set by goal interest relationships, relative power relationships, and


commitment to practicing cooperative conflict resolution techniques.

Burton Clark suggests another limitation to a collegial model. He

makes the evaluation that there is an upper limit to the size organi-

zation which can effectively practice collegial authority. Clark

suggests a unit of 500 students and 50 faculty members (11:199). For

most institutions this would suggest that collegial authority is most

applicable within decentralized units. The probable situation is that

the degree of authority vested in the collegial authority would be

determined by the degree of interest of all actors and the environmental

actors in the goal issue in question, the relative power or influence

of the elements of the collegial authority to demonstrate the value of

collegial authority and to threaten application of creditable sanctions

to force vesting of authority in the collegial body, and the patterns

of interaction which are well established.

The hierarchical configuration, a common organizational model, as

a type form would establish a line of superiority and subordination of

the elements. The inputs would come to the board of control, except as

they were delegated to subordinate actors in special cases. The actor

at each level might be delegated authority to make certain types of goal

decisions. In an enlightened system, the status leader would consult with

subordinates to gain full information and to take maximum advantage of the

knowledge of the subordinates, and to make adjustments to goal needs of

individuals in the organization.

This model obviously is based on hierarchy of power. As we have

defined power, this includes the power to control process and quality of

output to a degree which is uncommon in higher education. In addition,

organizational studies have indicated that the hierarchical model is


prone to be ineffective in dealing with individual member goals and

satisfactions to a degree which increases the desire to act militantly

on the part of members of the organization.

The rights of the owner.-A particular type of hierarchical confi-

guration is based on the theory that the owner or the entrepreneur has the

right to set the goals of the enterprise. It is expected from this per-

spective that the wise owner will take advantage of the valuable contri-

butions of the "employees", and will be sensitive to their needs and

wants, especially as they affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the

enterprise. The literature of organization theory abounds with discus-

sions of the stresses which such a structure introduce into an organi-

zation, especially an organization with highly professional "employees".

The literature of higher education is full of discussions of the norms

of higher education in the United States which run counter to this

structure, and which could only be opposed at considerable cost. The

analysis of comparative power of actors in particular situations would in

all probability show that a structure implementing the rights of the owner

could only be realized at great cost, either in organizational stress or

in quality of output.

The,Facultv-dominant System

In current literature which gives attention to the important role of

the faculty in decision-making in higher education, one point of view

holds that the faculty should make the goal decisions. This configuration

as a model is based on the assumptions that the legitimate right to set

institutional goals goes to the actors who have the greatest logical or

rational ability to set the goals. In this model, the faculty is assumed


to have specialized knowledge and sensitivity to the values and issues

in question because of the focus of their attention. A specialized

derivation of this position is based on the assumption that there are

absolute or natural functions of higher education, and that these are

best known by the professionals. A second variation is based on ideal

functions of higher education being determinable by research and con-

sequential analysis by educators. When the implications of this model

on the goal-setting system are examined, it appears that the faculty-

dominant model has tho same implications on environment relations as

the autonomous model had. It also has implications about the way the

internal relations between actors are structured. In prevailing prac-

tice, the board of control and the administration are customarily charged

with administration of the resources provided by the environment in

support of output demands. In addition, they are required to be the

communication link between subsystems and environmental entities, rep-

resenting each to the other. It is difficult to reconcile such a struc-

ture to the faculty dominant model. A faculty dominant model is more

compatible with an institutional structure which is characterized by

high independence. This reflects a cost-benefit analysis, made by the

entities with the greatest power resources, which places high value on

contributions associated with high independence, and which anticipates

a high cost in implementing a tighter connection. This suggests a

structure, however, which has a major discontinuity between actors that

denies each camp the benefits of integrative involvement with the other,

and is therefore less to be desired than a structure which recognizes

and rationalizes the interdependency of the actors.

A Student Dominant System

Traditionally, the students in the United States have been a power-

less class in goal-setting. A current proposal for providing Federal

funds to higher education would make radical changes in the relation-

ships in the goal-setting system. By channelling funds through individual

students rather than through institutions and permitting the student to

select the institution of his choice, the environmental resources are

given to the students to control. Ostar has pointed out that the Federal

government would still be in the position of exercising environmental

demands on the student by withholding funds from students who partici-

pated in actions deemed contrary to the national interest (56), or pre-

sumably who took programs of an "unsatisfactory" or "non-accredited" type.

Although patterns of goal-setting interaction have not traditionally

emphasized the role of students, recent events have made the interests

of students in certain goal questions very clear, and have demonstrated

the power of students to enforce demands by means which inflict a cost

on the institution or which apply coersion to individuals, A particu-

larly interesting feature of the student use of power has been the appa-

rent ability to use power, often very abrasive power, at a relatively

low cost. As has been previously stated, a relatively limited absolute

power resource which can be used with little associated cost offers

more usable power than a great power resource which can only be used

at great cost.

Other Types of Structure

Other types of structure or configurations of the system merit

attention because they are usually configurations which, it can be argued,

should be avoided. These types of structure have been derived by


considering alterations of the relationships developed in Chapter V

which give structure to the goal-setting system.

Multi-modal Systems

One of the weaknesses of the general cybernetic system discussed

by Buckley was that the system might not have a single control center

and, thus, a single goal-setting system. The basic goal-setting system

can be made into a bi-modal or multi-modal system in several ways.

There may be strong opposing subsystems where each one is developing

institutional goal premises and each is acting on his premises without

resolving differences with the other faction. Another way of adding a

goal-sotting center is for factions to develop within collective enti-

ties, as when a substantial part of the faculty proposes different goals

than the bulk of the faculty, and proceeds to act on these goals.

The addition of more than one goal-setting center necessitates a

duplicate structure of relationships. Information of these relation-

ships form an important input to other goal-setting centers. For in-

stance, if there is firm environmental resource support for a dissident

goal-setting system, this information enters the established goal-setting

structure as a major input.

The system model suggests that a multi-modal goal-setting system,

or as an alternative conceptualization an institution with more than one

goal-setting center, depends on low interdependence between actors. Two

salient dependencies are the dependence of the administration and the

board of control on the faculty for quality output of a given character,

and the dependence of the faculty in common practice on these other actors

for resources. The low interdependence may be based on: (1) poor infor-

mation to the administration and board of control about organizational


behavior or output, (2) lack of concern in the environment which dis-

criminates between the goals of the various goal-setting centers,

(3) weakening of the administration's strength by lack of support by

the board of control or in the environment for the willingness to

accept the costs of pressing for unification, or (4) lack of establish-

ment of patterns of interaction which lead to a unified goal determina-

tion procedure.

To some extent, every actual system is a multi-modal system. The

professor, as a master of some area of knowledge, directs the learning

or research experience in his classroom led only by his professional

judgement. In the faculty subsystem he is also given the judgement of

his peers. As long as there is not reasonably close agreement on the

behavioral changes which are to be made in students, in the value

changes which are desirable, in the instrumental skills which are essen-

tial, or in the body of knowledge which is appropriate, it is difficult

to make objective evaluations of the output of the learning experience.

In the extreme case, the faculty member is influenced by such factors

as resource allocations and personnel policies, but over a broad band

of functions the faculty member experiences a very loose connection with

the non-teaching members of the goal-setting system.

At the other pole, the formal boards of control also set goals

that are actually reflected in practice such as allocations of financial

resources and other administrative policy matters. Here again a broad

range of effective actions which shape goals can be taken with little

reaction from the faculty. We see then several alternative modes of

operation for a bi-modal or multi-modal system. They range from operat-

ing in areas where no attempt is made to resolve the goal issues on an


institution-wide bases on the one hand to trying to come together on the

other. In the later case, if the goals are compatible or complementary,

a cooperative resolution is possible. If the goal-positions are incom-

patible, a competitive solution reflecting the relative power positions

is likely.

Low Resolution System

Another type of goal-system is a system which produces low resolu-

tion of the differences in the goal positions of the subsystems. Such

a system can be associated with at least four structural configurations:

low goal interest in the goal area in question, especially on the part

of the environment; weak information links providing feedback information

to internal and external elements on results of low goal resolution; a

power relationship in which no subsystem is able to press a resolution;

and a situation where no effective relationships concerning conflict

resolution measures exists. Whore the low resolution can be traced to

the power relationship, examination of the model suggests that the power

positions of entities is nearly equal, and an analysis of benefits of

resolving the question versus the costs of forcing a resolution is

either disproportionately expensive or the indications are indecisive.

Systems with Weak Information Links

Two types of systems may be associated with low development of in-

formation structure: nonrational systems, and rigid systems. While a

nonrational system may have other characteristics than those relating

to information, the model suggests that this type system lacks the in-

formation inputs, both on conditions of the system and environment and

on results of systematic research, to practice rational decision-making


in regard to goals. The model suggests that rigid goal-setting systems

may lack feedback upon which to adjust.

The information link aspect of structure must be treated on a

continuum. There can be effective communication, or distortion of

meanings. There can be full exchanges or marginal and incremental

transfers. There can be two-directional flows between all entities, or

there can be selective transmissions and one-way flows. The information

links may vary in all the ways enumerated in Chapter V.


The structure of the goal-setting system may reflect coalitions

among actors. Coalitions logically involve the relationship dimensions

of goal-interests, power, mode of conflict resolution, and interaction

patterns. It would be expected that the coalition would be based on

mutual aspirations, mutual opposition, or a negotiated position in

which support at one time is bartered for support in return at another

time. The coalition has as a fundamental aim the increase of power,

either to achieve a general superiority, or to consolidate enough power

to achieve a specific purpose. A coalition does not imply a particular

type of conflict resolution relationship, but it tends to emphasize a

resolution through exchange rather than consensus formation. A coalition

implies interaction patterns that follow the configuration of the coali-

tion rather than random and unstructured interaction.

Gamson has presented a theory of coalition formation (28:99ff).

Gamson restricts his coalitions to "...temporary, means oriented, alli-

ances among individuals or groups which differ in goals. There is

generally little value consensus in a coalition and the stability of

a coalition requires tacit neutrality of the coalition on matters which

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