Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to analyze the existing literature to determine how the line-staff structure may influence academic managers and their institutions. The study focused on identifying behavior-linked line-staff distinguishing variables on which academic line and staff managers may differ. Emphasis was placed on using information in the literature to generate new research propositions.;Forty-four documents which compared line and staff managers on one or more position, personal, and psychological variables were reviewed using a structured content analysis procedure. Twenty-one behavior-linked line-staff distinguishing variables were identified. The strength of each variable as a candidate for future research in higher education was measured by weighting each variable for breadth and frequency of documentation, consistency in reported findings, and continuity of interest. Dominant difference, impact, and behavior patterns for each variable were determined by calculating the percentage of agreement among documents on (1) how managers were reported to differ on a candidate variable; (2) how managers were reported to be impacted, i.e., advantaged or disadvantaged, by difference on a variable; and (3) what organizationally relevant behaviors were reported to be associated with difference on a variable.;It was concluded that the literature indicates that the line-staff structure shapes twenty-one variables differently for line and staff managers and that differences on these variables can lead to behaviors which disrupt organizational functioning. Further, the line-staff structure appears to influence academic managers in much the same way as it does their counterparts in other organizations. It was also concluded that some of the variables are stronger candidates for study in higher education than others, and that levels of agreement among documents on differences, impacts, and behaviors were sufficiently high to support using these data to formulate new research propositions about the line-staff structure and its influence on academic managers.;Specific conclusions for each candidate variable were expressed as new research hypotheses about expected differences, impacts, and behaviors. Overall, these hypotheses indicated that academic line managers may be favored by the line-staff structure while staff managers may be disadvantaged.



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