Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
As I write this editorial it comes at the closing of one chapter in life and the opening of another. The closing is of full-time work as Deputy Chief Education Officer for North Lincolnshire Council, UK – the opening is as a consultant in educational management with new opportunities such as a forthcoming Pan-Pacific conference in Hong Kong with Professor Yin Cheong Cheng. This will give opportunity to meet new authors and to make acquaintances with established authors who I have not met. C’est la change plus ça change.
Concentrating on this issue, there are six papers from the UK, Japan, Greece, Australia and the USA. The first is presented by Dr William Ho of Aston University, Birmingham, UK (with Dey and Higson) who concentrates on decision-making criteria in higher education. The authors state that higher education has faced the problem of budget cuts or constrained budgets for the past 30 years. Managing the process of the higher education system is therefore a crucial and urgent task for the decision makers of the university in order to improve their performance or competitiveness. This paper reviews the literature, which focuses on four major higher education problems. These are resource allocation, performance measurement, budgeting and scheduling. Related articles appearing in international journals from 1996-2005 are gathered and analysed so that the following three questions can be answered:
What kind of decision problems were paid most attention to?
Were the multiple criteria decision-making techniques adopted?
What are the inadequacies of these approaches?
Based on the inadequacies, some improvements and possible work are recommended, and a comprehensive resource allocation model is developed taking account of these factors. Finally, a new knowledge-based goal programming technique, which integrates some operations of analytic hierarchy process, is proposed to tackle the model.
Second, Professor Masaharu Yano of the University of Tokyo, together with Junichi Tomita writes on the mobility principle of Japanese professors. The paper aims to demonstrate the conditions of mobility and carries out an analysis of the principle on which researcher mobility is based and on the relationship between mobility and performance. Moves from a research to an education university rarely occur but the opposite occurs with relative frequency. To achieve a move a high publication role is needed. In Japan the increase in post-move publication rate was great for those who moved from an education to a research university and also for those who moved between education universities.
From the Aristotle University of Thessalonika, Eleonora Karassavidou and Niki Glaveli submit a paper entitled: “Towards the ethical or the unethical side? An explorative research of Greek business students’ attitudes”. The paper investigates the ethical orientations of undergraduate business students in Greece by exploring the relations among students’ internalised codes of ethics, and students’ judgements related to ethical problem situations within a classroom and business context. For the purposes of the paper a conceptual framework was developed and a pilot empirical research was conducted based upon a questionnaire addressed to a sample of 123 business school undergraduate students. The research is limited as it addresses students in one semester and cannot necessarily be generalised. However, the internalised code of ethics and “anomia constructs” are reliable and have captured the students’ profile in terms of both their ethical orientation and world view.
Suzanne Perillo is a doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne. Her paper is on “Practice enhancement: optimising teaching performance in schools”. Whilst the previous two papers are linked in their outcomes to educational management, in this paper there is a more direct link with the mission statement of the journal. The paper’s purpose is outlined as “… in comparison to performance appraisal ‘practice enhancement’ is offered as a conceptual tool that can be used to develop strategies for reflecting on, communicating changes in and planning for excellence in teaching practice”. The conceptual notion of practice enhancement is underpinned by assumptions from the discipline of positive psychology and supported by the need for a performance management process, targeting teaching practice that considers the contributions made by social learning theory and organisational learning theory. A case study research is used to support the applicability of practice enhancement in schools. The findings show the applicability and conceptual occupancy of managerial notions such as performance appraisal should be critically considered by educational researchers, policy workers, school leaders and teaching practitioners when developing processes for managing the performance of teaching in schools. A conceptual tool for guiding the development of processes and tools for managing teaching excellence is provided.
A joint paper from the UK is presented by Ayoubi and Al-Habaibeh of the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent respectively. The purpose of the paper is to develop a comparative analysis of the main objectives of international institutional partnerships in four UK leading universities. Based on the case studies presented, the paper outlines a model for objectives and implementation of international partnership. Using this multiple case study approach it is found that for the four universities the objectives of international partnerships are related to both students and staff with relative importance given to the student dimension. While the student dimension refers to any overseas partnerships where the core topic of the partnership is the student, irrespective of whether it is related to student exchange, collaborative programmes, student recruitment etc. – the staff dimension refers to any overseas partnership that are more related to the staff topic, such as joint research, collaborative teaching, staff exchange etc. In the paper the comparative analysis is developed into a model for international strategy design and implementation. This model can help assess university managers in the running of their international business.
The final paper is by Ebrahim Randeree of the University at Buffalo, New York. His paper is “Structural barriers: redesigning schools to create learning organisations”. The paper focuses on schools and addresses the structural dimensions of the organisation as well as the hierarchical design of information flows between stakeholders. The paper highlights current structural barriers to creating learning organisations and providing a practical agenda for action that enables the creation of learning organisations.
Brian E. Roberts