Saturday, May 29, 2010

Reluctantly learning from business texts

Okay, so I am preparing to participate in some leadership training, and I have to ask, as I peruse the required pre-training reading: Do we have to use business readings? I mean, I know that higher education is a business, and that our organizations have to deal with issues of budgets, human resources, management, etc. But the business texts are annoying to read. I don't care about how Walmart, GM, and Southwest Airlines function, and I find a pretty serious disconnect between for-profit and nonprofit organizational issues. Yes, I know I can learn something from assessing these business models, but wouldn't I learn more from reading about examples from higher education? Examples where public institutions have to function within state systems and manage multiple constituencies, and where the desired outcomes are actually the subject of as much debate as the appropriate methods for assessing these outcomes?

Where are the great higher education management theories? Where is the organizational management book specifically for higher ed? And if it exists, why am I not being asked to read it, instead of the big, annoying business texts??

I have slogged through half of one of the books, and I am certainly finding ideas that are useful to leadership questions in higher education, so I don't want to complain too loudly. I just wish the authors had written a second book just for higher education institutions. Dean Dad, where is that higher ed management book you need to write, hmmm????


Meansomething said...

If and when you find one, please post about it! And I'd love to know which readings you have found even tangentially useful so far.

Dean Dad said...

I'm working on it!

sherishu said...

At least the Southwest one is kinda fun. This is the problem with studying's interdisciplinary but everyone reads the management stuff. Blah. Just imagine having to teach a class with that shit to work with.