A Conceptual Framework For Evaluating An Academic Department: A Systems Approach

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Paul Green
Stanley Hardman


Evaluation, Systems Approach, Universities of Technology, Framework, South Africa


The purpose of this paper is to report on the development of a conceptual framework for the evaluation of an academic department as a service provider at a university of technology. A multi-methodological approach using action research, which involved a cyclical process between action and critical reflection, continuous refinement and understanding, was implemented. Critical to the study was the concept of emergence as a consequence of the interactions in the system. An analysis of systems methodologies and their applicability to evaluation signified a possible complementarity in their strengths with respect to their application in complex situations. A theoretical contribution of the study involved a unique combination of several existing techniques from different paradigms, which are mutually complementary into one intervention. Although the techniques and paradigms utilised in the study are not innovative, the combination and application thereof at a relatively new type of university in South Africa is, to the best of our knowledge, original.


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