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February 22, 2011


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Most people don't like being commanded. I think quite often decision-making structures are put in place so that it looks like (3) while really being (1). And while that might obscure and confuse, it also might increase the morale of those who have to carry the decision out, so I'm not sure it is an unmitigated good to be clear which style is being implemented.

Jacqueline Lipton

You raise some good points, although many of us forget that the buck is supposed to stop with the dean ie it's the dean's head on the block if a decision goes horribly awry. So doesn't there have to be some room for maybe style number 2 at least? I agree that it's hard to "command" academics (and we generally don't like it), but is it terribly wrong for a dean to consult, then make his/her own decision, particularly if (s)he will ultimately bear responsibility for the decision?

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