Academic Staff Perceptions of Administrative Quality at Universities.
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
This is a theoretical paper that gives direction as to how Administrative Quality at a university can be measured on an interval scale. There are no service quality measures available for universities. The best-researched service quality measures come from the business area and, in particular, the scale SERVQUAL (Parasuraman, Zeitham]. & Berry, 1985, 1994) for measuring customer services. The measure for my paper is oriented towards service quality. it is based on a model of academic staff perceptions in relation to Central, Faculty or School administration (as the case may be) for the quality of service provided to academics. The Australian government has set up a new Australian University Quality Agency in 2001 and one of its objectives is to measure quality in administration (management). Academic staff perceptions of Administrative Quality are proposed to consist of two 1 st order aspects, operationally defined by a number of 2nd order aspects. These are: Reliability and Responsiveness (Administrative Contact, Provision of Administrative Material, Confident and Dependable Administrative Advice and Advanced Notice of Administrative Changes), and Assurance and Empathy (Courteousness and Confidence in Contact, Individual and Understanding Contact and Feeling Secure Contact). The 21 stem-items measuring each 2nd order aspect are set up in Guttman patterns, conceptually ordered by increasing 'difficulty'. Academics are asked to respond to each of the 21 stem-items in two parts, conceptually ordered from 'easy' to 'hard': Ideally, This is what I think my university administration should do ('easy'), and This is what my university administration actually does ('hard'). This model has been pilot tested successfully with a small sample (N=27) and is now ready for a full test.