A study of the perceptions of community college administrators and faculty on the relationship between innovativeness and customer focus in higher education
This study employed a nonexperimental descriptive design to determine if a relationship existed between willingness to be innovative and customer focus in higher education. The study also examined differences in perceptions of degrees of innovativeness and customer focus between community college faculty members and administrators. Community colleges have been viewed as one of the most innovative and responsive educational enterprises in the history of the United States. However, few significant innovations have been introduced during the past two decades. Declining enrollments, decreasing governmental support, and a 'stale' curriculum suggested that the early responsiveness and creativity of staff and faculty have been exchanged for the status quo. A proportional random sample of 650 full-time faculty members and 250 administrators from five community colleges in Michigan participated in the study by completing three survey instruments: (1) Scales for the Measurement of Innovativeness (Hurt, Joseph, & Cook; 1977), (2) Customer Focus in Higher Education (Davis, 1993), and a demographic survey. Key findings of the study included: (a) Significant correlations were found between the total scores on innovation and customer focus in higher education, although the relationships were weak, they were in a positive direction, indicating that higher scores on innovation were associated with higher scores on customer focus in higher education; (b) A weak negative relationship existed between the innovation subscale of negative aspects of change and the customer focus subscale of classroom instruction, indicating that the more positive the respondents perceptions of classroom instruction, the less resistant he was to change; (c) A significant relationship existed between the innovation subscale, positive aspects of change, and the customer focus subscale, organizational culture. These scores suggested that as administrators scored higher on positive aspects of change, their scores on institutional values declined. Based on the findings, faculty and administrators, who were identified as innovators, appeared willing to adapt their methods and practices to suit the changing needs of students/customers.
|Year of publication:||
|Authors:||Delmotte, James Joseph|
Wayne State University
|Type of publication:||Other|
ETD Collection for Wayne State University
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