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Peer Group Analysis: For Administrators Only?

Presented at 2005 AIR Forum

This case study of a large Midwestern public research university utilizes organizational theory and the political and learning organization frames to examine the uses of peer analyses and information flow throughout the institution. Data collected from interviews with ten upper, middle, and lower administrators were analyzed to determine to what extent peer group analyses contributed to organizational learning. It was found that the information gleaned from group peer analysis by different individuals includes 1) the level of teaching, research, and service; 2) support for greater resource allocations; and 3) effectiveness and productivity. In order for peer group analyses to contribute to organizational learning, institutional researchers must collect data and transform this data into information more relevant to the appropriateness of accepted operating norms.

Reviewed March 30, 2011.