Strategic planning in higher education : an examination of variation in strategic planning practices and their effect on success in NCAA Division I Athletic Department

Starsia, Gerald, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Pusser, Brian, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Callahan, Carolyn, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Netemeyer, Richard G., McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia
Rowan-Kenyon, Heather, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Higher education and intercollegiate athletics are operating in an era of heightened competition and diminishing resources. As these organizations increase in complexity, the need for highly professional staff and management strategies become critical.

The theoretical framework guiding this research was generated from the literature in corporate and higher education strategic management. The setting of strategy in any organization begins with the strategic plan. In this study, strategic planning processes are reviewed and categorized according to their historical and qualitative similarities. Unique qualities of each category are used as frameworks to form three models of planning -linear, hybrid, and chaos. Using statistical techniques, the planning models were related to measures of success in Division I athletic departments (championships, graduation rates, and financial performance) to better understand the relationships. The research addressed three questions: (a) How strongly are the linear, hybrid, and chaos planning models related to success? (b) How strongly are the linear, hybrid, and chaos strategic planning models related to each other? and (c) How strongly are selected dimensions of the linear, hybrid, and chaos strategic planning models related to demographics?

The population for this study consisted of NCAA Division I athletic directors. In order to increase understanding about strategic planning in intercollegiate athletics, a survey was sent to 330 Division I athletic directors, and 130 were completed and returned for a response rate of 39%. Correlational and regression analyses revealed statistically significant relationships between certain dimensions of planning and the measures of success. These findings confirmed the positive relationship between planning and operational success, and between certain dimensions of planning and success in intercollegiate athletics. Based on the results, athletic departments should be aware of certain dimensions of planning when undergoing a strategic planning process such as taking a top-down versus bottom-up approach, the frequency with which a plan is changed, staff competency, environmental awareness, and total revenue.

Leaders of intercollegiate departments of athletics, higher education, and other complex organizations with an interest in maximizing management resources, can use these findings to inform their planning practices.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
management strategies, intercollegiate athletics, higher education, professional staff

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:35:46.

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: