Structure and Performance of College Education in India: An Organizational Analysis of Arts and Science Colleges in Bombay

Heredia, Rudolf C.

      "The central thrust of this study . . . is this: it attempts a systems analysis of the internal organizational dynamics of college education in terms of its institutional structure and educational performance, an analysis what will help our theoretical understanding of the system, and so suggest a practical re-structuring of it in order to make it more responsive to present needs and future changes." There is a particular focus on the University of Bombay as an example of the "system of affiliated colleges . . . derived from the University of London model in 1857." The study is also concerned with four issues that "have a place in the substantive context of educational theory as well as in the context of organizational sociology": (1) the "opposing organizational principles from which bureaucracy and professionalism derive"; (2) the "teaching-research dilemma"; (3) the "issue of institutional innovation"; and (4) "the external examination system" which "affords a unique opportunity to study the displacement of organizational goals."
     The basic research problem of this study focuses on the internal organization of college education in India. What is attempted is a fine-tuned analysis of the system's structure and performance. As a necessary preliminary for this analysis, Chapter 2 sets the historical context of the external organizational environment in sociological perspective: the origins of the affiliating model, the history of its resistance to reform, the reason for its persistence and the social dynamic that sustains the continuing crisis of Indian education." The next chapter elaborates "a formal systems model in a substantive context so that it can serve as a guiding framework for the analysis. Here too the quantitative methodology used is justified and spelt out in some detail. The most limiting condition for any organization is of course resources. Hence Chapter 4 begins a descriptive analysis of these in terms of precisely quantified variables, that . . . [are] used later in a regression analysis, as well as in terms of a descriptive profile of the most crucial resource for an educational institution -- the teacher. The structural analysis of organizational characteristics is taken up . . . The decision-making process is used to operationalize these and the antecedent effects of resource input on them is studied. The corporate response of faculty unionization is examined against these organizational characteristics and the possibilities for a greater professionalization are sketched." Next, "three separate dimensions of educational performance are analyzed .. . An attempt is made to resolve the dilemma between pedagogy and scholarship, to suggest how important professional autonomy is to innovative change in these colleges, and the vicious circle between institutional selectivity and examination results is underscored. A profile of institutional goals based on the perception of individual professors serves to confirm and extend some of the earlier findings. Finally a conclusion . . . pulls together the threads of the discussion, and draws out the theoretical significance of the analysis and the policy implications of the findings.