Expanding Role of University Department Secretaries: Potential Middle Managers in the Making

Abstract

In Taiwan, the plummeting birthrate has further driven the need for drastic changes within universities. Currently, university enrollments are at an all-time low, while also suffering from an increasing number of dropouts. In effect, many graduate programs are rethinking and realigning their program priorities. These strategic changes have actually opened up opportunities in harnessing the untapped potentials of university department secretaries. Within organizational behavior theories, employees’ organizational citizenship behavior is highly affected by their role definition. To better understand these issues, the current presentation shall summarize the findings with regards to the expanding role of university department secretaries in Taiwan. A total of 20 university department secretaries were strategically selected and interviewed. Semi-structured interviews included the depth and scope of their responsibilities, together with the insights into their contribution and potential role within the organization. Interview data were transcribed and repeating themes organized and categorized. Findings show that majority of the secretaries have been connected with their programs for more than 10 years and has already surpassed several management terms. More important, almost half of the interviewed secretaries are alumni of the university and are graduate degree holders. Specific themes generated are career developmental plan, training focus on specific career tracks, and increased opportunities for career growth. Lastly, the role of secretaries can also serves as a buffering effect between the faculty and students. It is hoped that by expanding the role of department secretaries, increased in organizational citizenship behaviors can spill over to the student population and promotes retention.



Author Information
Gregory Ching, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan
Hsiu Hui Chang, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2021
Stream: Educational policy

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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