The Management Information Needs of Academic Heads of Department in Universities

Appendix 1

Interview schedule for academic Heads of Departments

Part One

Perhaps we could begin by looking a little at you and your department.

1) Could you outline to me what the department of [.....] does?

2) What your role is as Head of Department within the department of [......]?

Thanks. Staying with your department I would like to ask you some questions about what you may see as being important to the department

3) Has the department prepared a mission statement or developed a set of goals as part of the university's strategic plan?

4) Could you describe to me what these departmental goals are?

5) Does the department have any other less formally stated goals?

6) In the past have there been any other goals that have been important?

Part Two

Thanks. So to summarise what you have just said you have being important for your department. Now I would like to ask if you could possibly rank these objectives in order of the most important.

Thanks. Now, turning to the list of goals that you have identified I would like to ask you what factors are important or critical if you are to meet your objectives. In other words, I would like you to think of those areas that you have to get right if your department is to achieve what it sets out to do.

6) For instance, you have just identified [.....] as your most important goal. Now, taking this first, what would you say are the factors that are critical if you are to successfully reach this goal?

7) Turning now to the first of these factors what sort of information do you need to make decisions in this area?

8) Where do you get information on this factor?

9) How important was the library in supplying this information?

10) Are any other organisations either in or outside the university any help with this information?

Part Three

Thanks very much. Before we end I wonder if I could ask you a few questions about being a Head of Department.

11) Firstly, could I ask you how long you have been Head of the Department?

12) Within the [university of.....] would you say that Heads of Department are generally permanent posts or are they for a limited period?

13) Finally, could I ask what sort of difference you would hope to make to the department as its Head?

I think that is about all I would like to ask. So, is there anything you would like to ask me about?

Thanks. Over the next few months I shall be interviewing other people and this may throw up additional things to what have talked about so if I need to could I contact you in the future?

Great, thanks again for your time, and if you want to find out how things are going please don't hesitate to contact me.

Front Page Contents

The Management Information Needs of Academic Heads of Department in Universities: a Critical Success Factors Approach, by Francis Greene, Brendan Loughridge and Tom Wilson
British Library Research and Development Department Report 6252 1996
Grant no: RDD/G/254