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Tightening up Loose Coupling in Organizations of Higher Education

Frank W. Lutz
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 27, No. 4 (Dec., 1982), pp. 653-669
DOI: 10.2307/2392536
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2392536
Page Count: 17
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Tightening up Loose Coupling in Organizations of Higher Education
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Abstract

Organizational researchers and practicing administrators in institutions of higher education during the last several years have accepted loose-coupling and garbage can models as accurate descriptions of universities and colleges. In this article, I examine the basic assumptions of these models and point to some of the practical outcomes of administrating universities according to these models and to some of the pitfalls of using the models as research paradigms. Further, I propose a model from political anthropology that accounts equally well for some of the same data. Finally, I suggest that the application of other organizational and administrative models would be more productive in both administering universities and in researching their organizational processes.

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