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Faculty Forum Papers

March 1983 Collective Bargaining - Establishment of Clear Structure By

Kermit J. Rohde
Organizational Psychology

February 24, 1983

For a number of years I was a directing member of the Personnel Research Board. One of its major findings, generally accepted now by all in work psychology, was that heads of organizations who were good performed well in initiating structure.

We studied many organizations there, and I have watched many others since. For an organization of its size, Oregon State is a near classic in chaos. Not only does most organization which exists at Oregon State exist only in the minds of administrators, but also those bits of organization change with administrative whims. Committees are set to work, and when finished, find the action has already been taken elsewhere. As one official said of another when explaining such an occurrence "he forgets." Many important structures have no written reference to which those working within them can refer. Other written rules are meaningless (e.g., some of the materials in the Faculty handbook never have been operative).

One effect of collective bargaining would be to force the establishment of clear structure. Already, the mere call for an election have brought about the identification as to which persons have faculty status and which persons do not, a matter which the Faculty By-laws Committee has for years tried to get the administration to clarify.

The structure which bargaining would establish may facilitate the effectiveness of Oregon State; it may not. (It will depend on the competence of the OSU Faculty to build one.) But as a general organizational rule, organization is better than chaos.