Academic Advising Resources


Advising Administrators' Perceptions of Group Dynamics in the Workplace Survey

2002 Advising Administrator Survey Results

Catherine Joseph and Heidi Carty
University of California - San Diego


  • The majority of respondents are female (77%).
  • Almost 90% of respondents possess an advanced degree (Master's, 61%, Doctorate, 28%).
  • The largest proportion (37%) of respondents are between 51 to 60 years young, one-third are between 41 to 50 and one-quarter are between 31 to 40.
  • In regard to communication patterns in the work place, the majority of respondents are comfortable giving staff feedback on interpersonal and managerial issues and feel well informed about job-related matters from staff.
  • While 70% of respondents agree to strongly agree that they are satisfied with how information is communicated in their work place, over one-fifth (21%) disagree to strongly disagree that they are satisfied with communication patterns in their work place.
  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents agree to strongly agree that they are satisfied with staff morale in their unit. At the same time, nearly one-fifth (17%) disagree to strongly disagree that they are satisfied with staff morale.
  • In regard to teamwork and decision making behaviors, over 90% of respondents agree to strongly agree that their unit as a whole is effective in accomplishing its tasks, that the staff works together in a cooperative manner, that it's their practice to encourage and actively listen to staff input, and to implement other's ideas when applicable.
  • Over 90% of respondents agree to strongly agree that their work environment is sensitive to diversity and cultural differences and that these differences are respected among staff.
  • Approximately three-quarters (74%) of respondents indicate that their unit has clear performance standards in place for employees while 10% report that there are no clear performance standards in place.
  • In regard to career development and training, over three-quarters report that their staff is given the necessary training to perform their jobs both effectively and efficiently. Almost all (96%) respondents indicate that their staff is encouraged to improve skills by participating in professional development. Only about 6% of respondents indicate that no professional development activities are encouraged or provided to staff.
  • Over 80% of respondents report that the role and mission of their unit are consistently made clear to staff members and that their staff is committed to the unit's goals and mission. One of the most stated reasons for not achieving the unit's mission was a lack of resources.

Items 47-49 Teamwork/Decision Making

Group Decision Making

  • Managerial support and encouragement of group decision making
  • Encouragement of presentation of new ideas
  • Assign tasks to subcommittees
  • Assign overlapping responsibilities
  • Respect and acceptance of differences of opinion
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Staff members annually participate in at least one team, committee, or project planning activity
  • Never belittle an idea that someone is passionate about
  • Develop smaller work groups around common issues
  • Shared problem solving
  • Sub-committees to address specific office procedural issues
  • Focus on solutions not problems

Team Building

  • Formal team training
  • Hiring people that will work well together
  • High levels of communication on individually, formally, and informally
  • Socialize as a group
  • Academic advisors throughout campus meet quarterly to discuss issues and topics of common interest


  • Assign groups to work on specific tasks
  • Genuine concern for each other
  • Working as a unit; stepping in regardless of level
  • Cross training
  • Teams set up for various events such as orientation, welcome week, retention, etc.
  • Everybody shares pertinent information to ensure unit is informed and consistent

Staff Meetings

  • Regularly scheduled staff meetings
  • Off campus retreats
  • Administrative group previews policy issues and sets up agenda for staff meetings

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