• A Comparative Case Study Analysis of Administrators Perceptions on the Adaptation of Quality and Continuous Improvement Tools To Community Colleges in the State Of Michigan

      Mattis, Ted B.
      The purpose of this study was to determine whether community college administrators in the state of Michigan believe that commonly known quality and continuous improvement tools, prevalent in a manufacturing environment, can be adapted to a community college model. The tools, specifically Six Sigma, benchmarking and process mapping have played a critical role in improving performance in the manufacturing sector. In 2008, the Obama administration made restoration of America’s educational prominence a campaign promise and committed to the development of the American Graduation Initiative, a $12 billion plan to reform U.S. community colleges to be executed over the next decade. The outcome of this research study will help to prove whether administrators believe that continuous improvement and quality tools commonly found in manufacturing can be adapted to Michigan community colleges. The proposed tool for the study of the research problem was a mixed model Delphi study and a Pearson Correlation Coefficient. The stakes for this research are high for community colleges. The promise of President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative put continuous improvement and measures of academic quality in the national spotlight. The results of the study indicate that, in the opinions of administrators, quality and continuous improvement tools that have been proven successful in other industries such as benchmarking, process mapping and Six Sigma can be assimilated into community colleges in the state of Michigan.
    • A Comparison of Gauge Repeatability and Reproducibility Methods

      Stamm, Scott
      Common in industrial applications is the need for estimates for measurement precision error. Measurement precision error is important because manufacturers make decisions about product acceptance or rejection based on product measurements. A frequent method of determining measurement precision error is the Gauge Repeatability and Reproducibility Study (GR&R Study). A typical GR&R Study determines estimates of repeatability error, reproducibility error as well as estimates of total measurement precision error and the part-topart component. This dissertation compares three methods of performing GR&R studies on 10,080 simulated GR&R study data sets. The 10,080 simulations were derivations of 224 actual Gauge R&R studies. The three methods of analysis are Donald Wheeler’s “Honest Gauge R&R Study,” the Automotive Industry Action Group’s Average and Range Method and the ANOVA Method. The study results were analyzed by ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis and Pearson correlation. The analysis showed the three methods are different in their estimates of total Gauge R&R and the components of repeatability, reproducibility, and part-to-part. The analysis also estimated the pair-wise comparisons of the three methods and showed they are different from one another for total GR&R, repeatability, reproducibility and part-to-part. The correlation analysis showed Donald Wheeler’s method to be correlated with both the Average and range method and the ANOVA method and the Average and range method to be correlated to the ANOVA method. For critical products the ANOVA method is recommended for Gauge R&R analysis, while for less critical products the Average and range method and Wheeler’s “Honest Gauge R&R Study” approach are recommended.
    • A Study in the Difference of Warranty Failures of Common Platform Different Brand Name Dishwashing Appliances

      Baker, Nathan
      There is a significant resource cost in the development of products. To minimize the resource cost and maximize the return on investment many companies develop several new products from one common platform. Common platforms spread across several separate brands. Different branding has different customers that have different perceptions of quality. Customers view quality as a mix of utility and reliability, and expect high reliability during the warranty period. It is often assumed by the developer the quality cost will be equal among each brand. Using the warranty data of a common platform dishwashing appliance the hypothesis was derived there is non-similar warranty costing between common platforms, but different brands. The factors and variables that affect the different warranty rates are also studied. This study focus is on two home appliance brands manufactured and marketed in North America. Both brands are produced in the same factories, and were designed concurrently to utilize as many common components and manufacturing techniques as possible. The study variables include: part replacement, service type, and type of failure. The assessment methods are hypothesis testing based on the company provided parametric and non-parametric variable data. Based on the results of this study it will be known if there is a warranty cost percentage associated with a product based purely on brand name or other variables.
    • A Study of a Computer-Aided Performance Rating Process and the Associated Process Improvement Opportunities

      Chow, Timothy
      Academic quality measurement through assessing student learning outcomes targets the crux of teaching and learning activities undertaken by higher education institutions. With the proliferation of information and instructional technology, authentic assessments of student academic performance by utilizing a computer-aided performance rating process offer promises of more precise and actionable information to educators for making informed quality improvement decisions on curricular changes and a viable alternative to standardized tests. This pilot research study examined the validity and reliability of a computer-aided performance rating process. Furthermore, this research offered information to the educational community on the feasibility of adapting a scalable performance measurement solution and its implications for improving academic quality.
    • A study of attitudes of faculty and administrators towards interprofessional education.

      Delnat, Catherine Christine
      Faculty and administrator’s attitudes are believed to be important in planning and implementing successful interprofessional education in the academic environment with the goal of increasing health sciences students’ competencies in interprofessional collaborative practice. The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes toward interprofessional education and identify attributes that may have an impact on those attitudes. A survey was distributed to all faculty and administrators in the health care sciences field at this institution. Using scales adopted from peer-reviewed literature, respondents were asked questions designed to rate their attitudes toward health care teams, interprofessional education, and interprofessional learning in the academic setting. Information about each respondent’s academic discipline, professional role, years worked in higher education, years of experience with interprofessional education, and gender were also collected. One open ended question was included. A 32% response rate from those surveyed (N = 42) indicated that discipline had a significant effect on attitudes towards health care teams, F(4, 35) = 4.10, p = .008, ω2 = .24, as well as on attitudes towards interprofessional education, F(4, 35) = 3.28, p = .022, ω2 = .17. On average, men scored lower (M = 3.96) than women (M = 4.30) in attitudes towards health care teams, t(38) = -2.20, p = .034, two-tailed, r = .36. The 95% confidence interval for the mean difference of -.34 was -.65 to .03. Respondents who reported no, or some experience in interprofessional education scored lower (M = 3.74) on attitudes towards interprofessional learning in the academic setting than those who reported being experienced (M = 4.24), t(37) = -3.15, p = .003, two-tailed, r = .46. The 95% confidence interval for the mean difference of -.51 was -.83 to -.18. The findings indicated a positive attitude of faculty and administration towards interprofessional education, especially with respect to the importance of understanding collaborative roles and developing communication skills needed for interprofessional endeavors. However, there appeared to be less confidence in the feasibility of providing interprofessional learning opportunities in the current academic setting. Discipline, gender, and experience in interprofessional education were all significant attributes to overall attitudinal responses towards interprofessional education. These findings may be useful in planning successful faculty development opportunities for interprofessional education.
    • A Study of How Model-centric Engineering Relates to Time-to-Market and Agility to Accommodate Customer-Required Changes

      Schroeder, Craig A.
      As customers increasingly demand immediate product variation, companies are required to shorten product design and manufacturing life cycles to remain competitive. The ability to respond quickly to continuous and unexpected change is the key to success in the manufacturing industry (Yu, Liu, & Chen, 2005). As a result, manufacturing firms are using model-centric engineering (MCE) in product development to remain competitive in their ever-changing global environment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the use of model-centric engineering and a firm’s competitiveness as defined by time-to-market and agility to accommodate customer-required changes. The study focused on two areas. The first area of focus defined the current model-centric environment in the manufacturing industry by factors such as level of MCE usage, years of MCE experience, discrete employee MCE job functions, and extent of MCE implementation. The second area of focus concentrated on MCE utilization as it relates to a company’s competitiveness. This relationship was achieved by comparing a firm’s level of MCE usage to its time-to-market, agility to accommodate customer-required changes, and company sales. Contingency tables, Fisher’s exact test of significance and logistic regression were used to test hypotheses comparing the relationships of key variables. From the results of this study it was concluded that there are some relationships between variables of MCE and a firm’s competitiveness defined by the initial time-to-market and the firm’s agility to accommodate customer-required changes. These relationships concerning MCE were not based upon the software itself that supports this method but more from the MCE’s relationship with the firm’s business systems. Over 75% of the issues logged by the survey relate to a firm’s way of managing MCE and not the functionality of the software. Through hypothesis testing, items such as co-location of engineers, training of employees, and consistency of implementation and usage of the MCE tools were found both to have impact on time-to-market and the agility to accommodate customer-required change. Per the survey results, 45% of the engineers located in the same building tend to have quicker time-to-market than did engineers segregated in a different location. Proper training and implementation is also important to create and sustain an educated workforce in an MCE environment. Even though 83% of the respondents indicated their staff received training, several of the issues of MCE led back to training-related items. A MCE methodology is more than having capable computer-aided tools for the design and process development. MCE requires a strong foundation of policies, procedures, and protocol to allow the computer-aided software to function as it is intended and not hampered by a restrictive or unorganized business system.
    • A Study of Selection, Training, and Host Country Cultural Adaptation Experiences of Expatriate Faculty from United States AASCU Universities

      Fenton, Mark Gabriel
      Literature addressing selection, cross-cultural training and determinants of a successful or failed expatriate experience is extensive for those in business, but there is little research on these topics for professional academics. This research expands the understanding of why academics expatriate, how they were selected, what their perceptions of a successful experience are, what pre-departure cultural training they received, and what factors may have been difficult. Expatriates are professionals who live and work in a foreign country. This status study of male and female faculty from two AASCU universities expands knowledge on academic expatriation. The response rate was 54%. Independent sample t-tests were used to analyze data with gender as the grouping variable. There was no institutional requirement for expatriation, but it is encouraged. Reasons for expatriation were the experience, conduct research and teach. Business and academia look to expand internationally. While academia seeks to attract a more diverse student and faculty base, business may be seeking quicker access to raw materials, labor and markets. Traveling spouses had fewer difficulties adapting to a host culture than children. Few academics received cross cultural training. It is recommended a formal selection instrument be designed specifically for academics. Training programs should include cultural differences, cultural adaptation, and professional expectations. Additional study of success and failure factors such as living conditions, host cultures and formal training is recommended. As universities continue to grow faculty and student exchange programs, training needs to grow in ways to support expatriation, cultural understanding and the goal of a successful expatriate experience.
    • A Study of the Relationship in Financial Performance, Organization size, Business Classification, and Program Maturity of Six Sigma Systems

      Olson, Diane J.
      United States companies are facing increased competition as business continues to grow globally. This is true for large companies and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations. To remain competitive, organizations need to improve product value, technology, customization, service, and turnaround time while reducing costs and increasing innovation. Many large manufacturers have turned to Six Sigma as a quality method to guide improvement efforts. Reported results have been significant in terms of cost reduction and the bottom line. Leaders in Six Sigma efforts have been Motorola, General Electric (GE), Allied Signal, Honeywell, and Ford. These manufacturers are all large in size. SMEs have not implemented Six Sigma to the same degree as large organizations due to limited resources and capacity to successfully deploy and sustain Six Sigma. Similarly, manufacturing led the way and non-manufacturers are now beginning to implement Six Sigma systems. As more SMEs and non-manufacturers launch Six Sigma efforts, new challenges are encountered. Quality authorities have found Six Sigma to have a positive impact on the bottom line financial performance of large manufacturing organizations. However, it is unknown if there is a positive impact to the financial performance of SMEs and non-manufacturers implementing Six Sigma. This study examined the relationships in financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity for Six Sigma systems. A sample of 606 individuals were surveyed based on a distribution list generated with membership from the American Society of Quality (ASQ), United States companies are facing increased competition as business continues to grow globally. This is true for large companies and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations. To remain competitive, organizations need to improve product value, technology, customization, service, and turnaround time while reducing costs and increasing innovation. Many large manufacturers have turned to Six Sigma as a quality method to guide improvement efforts. Reported results have been significant in terms of cost reduction and the bottom line. Leaders in Six Sigma efforts have been Motorola, General Electric (GE), Allied Signal, Honeywell, and Ford. These manufacturers are all large in size. SMEs have not implemented Six Sigma to the same degree as large organizations due to limited resources and capacity to successfully deploy and sustain Six Sigma. Similarly, manufacturing led the way and non-manufacturers are now beginning to implement Six Sigma systems. As more SMEs and non-manufacturers launch Six Sigma efforts, new challenges are encountered. Quality authorities have found Six Sigma to have a positive impact on the bottom line financial performance of large manufacturing organizations. However, it is unknown if there is a positive impact to the financial performance of SMEs and non-manufacturers implementing Six Sigma. This study examined the relationships in financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity for Six Sigma systems. A sample of 606 individuals were surveyed based on a distribution list generated with membership from the American Society of Quality (ASQ),United States companies are facing increased competition as business continues to grow globally. This is true for large companies and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations. To remain competitive, organizations need to improve product value, technology, customization, service, and turnaround time while reducing costs and increasing innovation. Many large manufacturers have turned to Six Sigma as a quality method to guide improvement efforts. Reported results have been significant in terms of cost reduction and the bottom line. Leaders in Six Sigma efforts have been Motorola, General Electric (GE), Allied Signal, Honeywell, and Ford. These manufacturers are all large in size. SMEs have not implemented Six Sigma to the same degree as large organizations due to limited resources and capacity to successfully deploy and sustain Six Sigma. Similarly, manufacturing led the way and non-manufacturers are now beginning to implement Six Sigma systems. As more SMEs and non-manufacturers launch Six Sigma efforts, new challenges are encountered. Quality authorities have found Six Sigma to have a positive impact on the bottom line financial performance of large manufacturing organizations. However, it is unknown if there is a positive impact to the financial performance of SMEs and non-manufacturers implementing Six Sigma. This study examined the relationships in financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity for Six Sigma systems. A sample of 606 individuals were surveyed based on a distribution list generated with membership from the American Society of Quality (ASQ),iSixSigma organization (iSixSigma, n.d.), and the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)/MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) organization (NIST, 2009). Regression was utilized to evaluate relationships between financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity. The relationships between financial performance, organization size, business classification, and program maturity were not significant. Additionally, the majority of respondents rated their organizations at a program maturity level 4. The study results showed no apparent relationship between Six Sigma program maturity, program maturity level, organization size, and business classification.
    • African-American Alumni Perceptions and Motivations Toward Philanthropic Giving (A Case Study of an African-American Alumni Council at A Midwestern University)

      Wallace, Camille R.
      This thesis is a qualitative case study of African-American philanthropic motivations and fundraising strategies employed to increase African-American alumni giving at a predominantly white institution, Midwestern University. The lack of research and lack of understanding of African-American alumni motivations and perceptions of philanthropic giving is the problem for this case study. It is the goal of the researcher that the findings and recommendations of this research be considered in the development of the University’s race specific fundraising strategies. The study included seven personal interviews of the Indiana State University African-American Alumni Board of Directors. Exhaustive field notes were analyzed thematically. Additionally, ex post facto regarding the AAAC Board of Directors was analyzed. Through triangulation, the researcher analyzed the data for commonalities. Commonalities found in the interviews, artifacts, and observations have been reported. This study expands our understanding in general and will assist leadership in expanding philanthropic activity and giving. Engaging and developing fundraising strategies for the untapped resource of the African-American alumni is important, yet the importance and feelings of inclusion to African-American alumni is the theme that emerged above others. The researcher found the African-American alumni are motivated to give to their alma mater based on the positive memories and relationships that were formed during their college experience. The expectation is that their financial support to the University will support the African-American students and staff of the University. As this Midwestern University has made progress, in the creation of the African-American Alumni Council, the researcher found that, the call for authenticity, transparency, and relevancy is essential to the council’s success.
    • An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Corporate Communication During Large-Scale Information Technology Changes

      Drum, Dawna M.
      The success rate of information technology implementations remains low, despite decades of scholarly research and popular advice. Whether success is defined by spending within the budget, on-time completion, functionality of the final implementation, or satisfaction of the users, few projects are deemed to be complete and resounding successes. One possible reason is inadequate communication during the change process, and many studies have examined aspects of change communication such as media choice, message content, and timing of the messages. What has been missing, however, is an assessment of these items‟ effectiveness across hierarchical levels within an organization undergoing an important technology change. Most previous studies have focused on the perceptions and actions of managers, even though it is the non-managerial employees who determine the ultimate success of the implementation in daily use. The intent of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of organization-wide change communication at all hierarchical levels to determine differences in perceptions as well as differences in actual effectiveness, through the use of established quantitative tools and qualitative methods. Employing a modified case study approach, two organizations (a mid-sized public university and a food processing organization) were studied during the implementation of a major IT change. It was hypothesized that the perceived effectiveness of media, content and timing that had been used when communicating about change would have an effect on the actual effectiveness of communication, as measured by several questions specific to each organization‟s current project. Results revealed that perceived effectiveness of media was the only factor that had a significant effect on the actual effectiveness of communication. Contributions of this study include formalizing a mechanism for evaluating employee preferences for communication and the actual effectiveness of change communication, as well as providing potential insights into ways to improve communication practices during large-scale IT implementations.
    • An Examination of the Relationship between Transformational Leadership Tendencies and Safety Outcomes in Selected Manufacturing Settings

      Boroughf, Barbara J.
      Each year about 6 to 8 percent of the U.S. workforce sustains a work related injury of which 3 to 4 percent of the injured population ends up losing time from work due to the severity of the injury (National Safety Council [NSC], 2011). According to the NSC Injury Facts (2011), every 147 minutes in the United States, a worker will be fatally injured, and every six seconds a worker will sustain an injury that is serious enough to require medical treatment. There is a wide variability in safety performance among organizations. Studies have found there is a relationship between transformational leadership and an organization’s safety climate and safety culture (Barling, Loughlin, & Kelloway, 2002; Kelloway, Mullen, & Francis, 2006). Safety climate and leadership studies have centered around cultural aspects of safety rather than examining leadership styles in relation to safety outcomes as determined by Incidence Rates, DART Rates, Severity Rates, and leadership style (Barling et al., 2002; Kelloway et al., 2006). The overall purpose of this study was to investigate the role of managing a manufacturing organization and the impact of the leadership style on the safety of employees. The purpose was to examine a specific leadership style and its relationship with safety outcomes as measured by Incidence Rate and Frequency Rate within a manufacturing organization. Further, the study was to determine if there was an association between a plant manager’s transformational leadership tendencies and the safety outcomes of the associated organization as measured by Incident Rate and Frequency Rate.Manufacturing plants from U.S. automotive manufacturing organizations were asked to participate in the study and the focus was on the plant managers from each facility. Direct-report managers from U.S. facilities were asked to complete the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Rater Form (5X-Short) (MLQ) for the plant manager to whom they directly reported. The researcher used an email campaign to administer the questionnaire. Safety performance data for each facility was obtained from the 2010 OSHA Occupational Injury and Illness Log Form 300. Hours worked, to calculate Incidence and Frequency Rate, were also collected from each facility. Data were analyzed to determine if there was a statistically significant association between leadership behaviors and safety performance. Findings and suggestions for further research are discussed.
    • An Experiment to Assess the Utilization of Adaptive Control Technology on a Cnc Lathe to Reduce Energy Consumption During Machining: A Step Towards Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing

      Bartles, Dean L.
      Global warming is a well-documented concern. If left unabated, many scientists believe that global warming could potentially have devastating impacts to life on earth. Current research points to greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity as one of the primary causes of global warming. The more electricity produced and consumed the more greenhouse gas emissions are released to the atmosphere. Industry is one of the most significant consumers of electricity. Within industry, manufacturing accounts for a significant majority of all energy consumed with machine tools being one of the largest consumers. Machine tool builders need to develop ways for machine tools to use less energy in producing the same amount of product. The literature contains suggestions on how a manufacturer can approach reducing the amount of energy consumed by machine tools in manufacturing. However, there is paucity in the literature related to how “adaptive control” might be employed to reduce the amount of energy consumed by machine tools in manufacturing. This study examined the possibility of employing “adaptive control” to minimize the amount of energy consumed by machine tools during machining.
    • An Experimental Study on Reducing the Formation of Dross when Cutting 1018 HR Steel Using a CNC Plasma Cutter

      DeVore, Michael E
      Many manufacturers who cut metal use plasma arc cutting as part of their manufacturing process. Plasma cutters use electricity and pressurized gas to produce a temperature of up to 50,000 ºF at the cutting tip. These plasma cutters can rapidly cut through metals as much as 12 inches thick. The use of computer numerical controlled (CNC) plasma cutters allow manufacturers to rapidly cut even very intricate and detailed flat parts. This process is a tremendous improvement over traditional torch cutting, saw cutting, or other machining processes for producing near net shapes. It is faster and less expensive than most of the alternative processes available. There are several processing and quality factors that must be addressed when using a plasma cutter. The most common problem with plasma cutting is the formation of dross (resolidified metal) on the cut edge. The formation of dross on plasma-cut parts creates several problems in the manufacturing process. By carefully controlling the operating parameters, the formation of dross on the work piece can be minimized, which greatly increases the quality of the part and the efficiency of the production process. Efficient operation of a CNC plasma cutter to minimize the formation of dross requires controlling several variables in the process. These variables include: material type and thickness, arc current (amperage), cutting speed, cutting-gas pressure, cutting tip size, and the gap between the cutting tip and the work piece. Experience with plasma arc cutting and research on the subject reveals that the variables that most affect the formation of dross are arc current, cutting speed, material thickness, and nozzle size. A study involving these four variables will be performed to determine the optimum setup for the CNC plasma cutter to minimize the formation of dross.
    • An Investigation of the Awareness of Recycling Services at Student Family Housing Units

      Aba, Eli Kofi
      This research investigated the awareness of recycling programs at student family housing units at Indiana State University. The purpose of this research was to find out the awareness of recycling in these areas. It allowed the researcher to examine the recycling awareness among other variables such as willingness to take part in pickup and willingness to take part in drop-off, among students at these areas. The researcher employed IRB (Institutional Review Board) approved survey to survey students who resided in four units, and who were willing to participate in the study. An introduction of the researcher, his background and objectives of the study, along with contact information of the researcher, the committee chair, and the IRB was given to each participant The researcher used systematic sampling to sample the population to get the 240 sample size. Based on a coin toss, every odd apartment number from the apartment numbers of the family housing units was selected for the one-month survey. The data was coded into value labels and recorded in SPSS for a statistical analysis. Bar charts, chi-square, and cross-tabulations were used for the analysis of the data at 0.05 significance levels. Descriptively, 59 % family housing residents were not aware of recycling program. However, 88 % of them believed that recycling would help them dispose of their trash. 78 % of them were willing to take part in pickup, while 70 % would also do so in drop-off. About 45 % were confident that the recycling center would recycle the materials they sorted for recycling,while 22 % recorded inconvenience as the reason for not taking part in both pickup and drop-off programs. About 34 % wanted ISU authorities to promote pickup recycling in order to make recycling appealing or convenient to them. All the null hypotheses were retained except there were statistically significant differences between the awareness of recycling center, awareness of recycling program, willingness to take part in pickup, willingness to take part in drop-off counts and the two categories of nationality of students, and the awareness of recycling center and gender counts.
    • An investigation of the early factors which influence women's career choices in physical science and technology

      Payne, Anneliese
      The composition of the workforce has begun to undergo a change. The U.S Department of Labor estimates that women, minorities and immigrants will constitute 80 percent of the additions to the labor force between 1987 and the year 2000 (Oakes, 1990). The National Science Foundation projects that the United States may have a shortfall of 40,000 scientists and over 250,000 engineers by the year 2006 (Argonne, 1990). Since women are among those who are significantly underrepresented among individuals preparing for a career in science, thirty women who are currently pursuing a successful career in physical science and technology were interviewed. This study determined participants perceptions of the factors that first influenced an early interest in physical science and technology. The investigation included perceptions regarding: 1) whether certain identifiable events or experiences influenced the decision to pursue science as a career and what those events and experiences were; 2) at what age these events occurred; 3) whether an adult(s) was influential and which adult(s) it was; and 4) identification of where these events and experiences occurred. The interview technique was selected as the best research method for collecting the qualitative and demographic data needed for this study. The results represent the participant’s recollections of out-of-school and in-school activities, family, friends and teacher support, self-image during the formative years, parents as the most important factor which influenced an interest in physical science, and major obstacles that had to be overcome by the participants in order to pursue successful careers in physical science and technology. Also included is participant’s advice to parents and teachers who want to encourage females to pursue a career in physical sciences and technology.
    • An Investigative Study of Contract Administration Practices of General Contractors on Federal and State DOT Projects.

      Okere, George Okechukwu
      Department of transportation (DOT) projects in the U.S. are plagued by issues resulting from poor contract administration performance. Literature reveals that there are unanswered questions related to contract administration practices and performance. Some of the most pronounced issues include construction disputes and litigation, failure rate of contractors, contractor misconduct and false claims, and the ability to staff projects properly. This study investigated the relationship between contract administration practices and contract administration performance of general contractors on federal and state DOT projects in the U.S. The overall research question addressed in this study was: "Is there a relationship between contract administration practices and contract administration performance of general contractors on federal and state DOT projects in the U.S.?" Data for this study was obtained from 20 state DOTs, and comprised of 86 samples. Based on the research question, the study’s hypotheses were derived from the literature, and a quantitative correlational research design method was used to investigate the relationship between the dependent variable (contract administration performance) and the independent variables (management attitude towards contract risks, contract provisions for mitigating contract risks, stability of scope definition, contract administration infrastructure, resource allocation strategy, and competency of contract administrators). The first key finding was that a significant correlation existed between contract administration performance and resource allocation strategy. The second key finding from the study was that the average cycle time from discovery to execution of change order was two (2) months, and this can be used as the baseline for evaluating performance level. The third key finding from the study was that on average the practices in the questionnaire were applicable to more than 84 percent of the respondents, which confirms that the practices do apply to most state DOTs, and can be streamlined by each state DOT for performance evaluation. The study’s findings showed that there was no significant positive correlation between contract administration performance and management attitude towards contract risks, contract provisions for mitigating contract risks, stability of scope definition, contract administration infrastructure, and competency of contract administrators. A predictive model was not developed because an investigation using regression analysis revealed that the collected data were not suitable for development of a predictive model. The collected data for this study shows patterns that support only one of the six hypothesized relationships and further study was recommended. Using power analysis, the sample size for this study was calculated to be 100 samples; however, only 66 of 86 collected samples met the requirements for use in inferential statistical analysis. It is expected that with a larger sample size, the variant scenarios and patterns will become evident, and a statistical analysis could confirm the relationships and a predictive model could be developed.
    • Application of Strategic Institutional-Information Technology Alignment Model in Four-Year Institutions of Higher Education

      Lach-Smith, Barbara (2010-09-22)
      This study examined an existing corporate model of business-information technology alignment for application in higher education and tested the findings by surveying executive and technology leaders in higher education. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the factors that impact alignment between institutional strategic planning and information technology strategy in higher education. The existing alignment model was examined in the context of mid-size four-year colleges and universities. This study used a combination of Delphi technique and a survey process. The sequence followed was to examine an existing theoretical model for its applicability to higher education by a Delphi expert panel, to pilot test the results of the Delphi in a survey of mid-size four-year institutions of higher education and to analyze the results. In the first phase, the Delphi method was used in two rounds to examine the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM) for application in higher education. An assembled panel of experts examined SAM, its components and questionnaire instrument, and reached a consensus after two rounds about the model’s applicability to higher education. The second phase of the study tested the Delphi panel’s findings by asking Chief Information Officers and Chief Executive Officers from four-year U.S. institutions of higher education to complete SAM’s instrument that was modified by the Delphi. The Delphi panel findings supported the use of the Strategic Alignment Model in higher education with some revisions of its terms to reflect the higher education environment more accurately. Several factors affecting institutional-IT alignment in higher education were identified. Factors associated with domain components of the SAM model as well as factors relating to bivariate linkages between the components of the model were revealed.
    • Attitudes of Northwest OHIO UAW Locals regarding Lifelong Learning, Use of Online Strategies, and Union-Led Learning

      Heiser, David P.
      United States workers are facing a workplace in which globalization, outsourcing, accelerating technology innovation, and changing demographics demands changes in the way they keep their job skills current. As a primary representative of workers‘ interests in the workplace, unions want their members to acquire and improve the skills, knowledge, and qualifications that enhance their employability and increase autonomy and self esteem. The problem was to identify the attitudes of two Northwest Ohio UAW locals regarding participation in lifelong learning, and utilization of online learning strategies within a union environment. The study was a quantitative descriptive study that utilized cross sectional survey research design. The data collection instrument for this study consisted of a 24-item survey that was posted online as a web survey and also distributed in hard copy format to two UAW locals in Ohio. The population included a wide range of workers who were diverse in terms of race, gender, levels of education and skills. A sample of n = 74 responded to questions designed to investigate attitudes of union members towards lifelong learning, union-led learning, and online learning. Independent variables were age and education level, and dependent variables consisted of responses to survey questions. A chi-square statistical test was performed to determine if there were any associations between responses and the independent variables. No statistical significance was found, but there was a positive response over the range of ages and education level demonstrating support for lifelong learning, union-led learning and online learning.
    • Chinese College Students’gender Self-Esteem and Transprejudice

      Chen, Bing
      The aim of this study was to examine transprejudice of college students from mainland China. Moreover, this study allowed us to determine if gender self-esteem, which may contribute to transprejudice in Western countries or individualistic societies, is also a significant contributor to transprejudice in mainland China, or a collectivistic society. We explored possible gender differences in transprejudice, and possible differences in prejudice towards transwomen and transmen. Additionally, we used Social Identity Theory to examine the possible relationship between gender self-esteem and transprejudice. Hypotheses were as follows: 1) heterosexual men would endorse more transprejudice than heterosexual women; 2) heterosexual men and women would report more prejudice against transwomen than transmen; and 3) heterosexual men who endorse higher levels of gender self-esteem would endorse more transprejudice, whereas heterosexual women’s transprejudice would not be related to their gender self-esteem. The final sample consisted of 148 college students from mainland China. Participants completed the Chinese versions of the Genderism and Transphobia Scale, the Collective Self-Esteem Scale, the Social Desirability-17 Scale, and the demographic questionnaire. The results demonstrated that men reported more transprejudice than women. Moreover, women reported more violence towards, teasing of, and discomfort with transwomen than transmen. Men also reported more teasing of and discomfort with transwomen than transmen, but men’s violence rating did not discriminate significantly between transwomen and transmen. Furthermore, gender self-esteem was not a predictor of transprejudice for men or for women. Because so far no research on transprejudice has been conducted on samples from mainland China, this study may contribute to the literature of transprejudice in China and to the cross-cultural research on transprejudice. This study may also contribute to the awareness of what factors can affect Chinese people’s prejudice and violence against transpeople, which in turn can lead to more effective interventions to decrease transprejudice in mainland China.