The concept of organizational identity: The perceptions of lay academic deans in Catholic higher education

John Joseph Houston, Fordham University

Abstract

The past 25 to 30 years have brought a visible change in the role of lay faculty and administrators in American Catholic higher education. As a result of the many changes a great deal of reflection and research has focused on the nature of the Catholic university or college and the concept of maintaining the identity and character of Catholic institutions of higher learning.^ The purpose of this research study was to explore and understand the concept of organizational identity through the professional roles of undergraduate deans in Catholic higher education. The study used the concept of organizational identity to describe and analyze how identity and character are formed and maintained in Catholic institutions of higher education. The concept of organizational identity was studied through the thoughts, perceptions, and experiences of laymen and women who are currently university or college undergraduate academic deans.^ The research focused on three questions: (1) How do undergraduate academic deans in Catholic colleges and universities describe organizational identity in their institutions? (2) How do undergraduate academic deans describe their experiences in contributing to the character and identity of the Catholic college or university? (3) How do undergraduate deans describe their attitudes concerning the formation and maintenance of organizational identity as a Catholic college or university.^ The study utilized the methodology of qualitative research with open-ended, in-depth interviews employed as the means of collecting the primary data. The 15 participants of this study were drawn from undergraduate academic deans of undergraduate programs of Catholic colleges or universities in a large metropolitan area on the east coast.^ The study concludes that Catholic institutions of higher learning have the responsibility of respecting and supporting the distinctive culture of the college or university faculty while maintaining the core identity of the organization. Catholic higher education has a key responsibility in helping the church to do its thinking and making a positive contribution to society. Catholic institutions of higher learning can strengthen identity by building a notion of community that believes that all members are equal and have an equal share or opportunity to build up the institution. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration|Religious education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Houston, John Joseph, "The concept of organizational identity: The perceptions of lay academic deans in Catholic higher education" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9543454.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9543454

Share

COinS