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This study identified and compared the environmental pressures and work-related stresses that impact the chairs of academic departments at universities in Australia and the United States. Surveys were mailed to every department chair at all 40 Australian universities (1680 chairs) with a 51 percent response rate. Surveys were also mailed to a sample of 800 chairs in the United States with a 66 percent response rate. Chair stress was examined within each group and compared across the groups. Factor analysis identified five stress variables common to both groups: (1) administrative relationship stress; (2) administrative tasks stress; (3) human relations stress; (4) academic role stress; and (5) external time stress. Among findings were that the same underlying variables defined stress constructs in both countries, but the administrative relationship dimension was significantly more stressful for Australian chairs while Americans suffered greater pressures from administrative task stress. However, Australian department heads were almost twice as productive in producing books, articles, professional papers, and meeting attendance than were American chairs. Data tables are appended. (Contains 36 references.) (Author/JLS)

Descriptors: Administrator Behavior, Administrator Characteristics, Administrator Role, College Administration, College Faculty, Comparative Education, Department Heads, Faculty Publishing, Faculty Workload, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Productivity, Stress Variables, Universities

Autor: Wolverton, Mimi; And Others


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