Promoting change in the “two-tiered” departments: An exploratory evaluation of conflict and empowerment levels among language and literature faculty

Date
2014-01-01
Authors
Zannirato, Alessandro
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Publisher
Heinle Cengage Learning
Abstract
This chapter documents an exploratory evaluation, carried out at the national level on the organizational effects of the “two-tiered” system in departments of Foreign Languages and Literatures (FLL) in the United States. The author initiated and conducted the evaluation for the purposes of (a) gaining a better understanding of the organizational dynamics that may arise in two-tiered departments; (b) exploring solutions to the identified challenges; and (c) identifying a community of language and literature professionals in both first-tier and second-tier positions interested in addressing the issues raised by the MLA report in a more inclusive way. After a theoretical comparison of the two-tiered system with similar configurations described in the literature, the results of an exploratory study concentrating on the level of organizational conflict and empowerment in FLL departments will be presented. The findings suggest that conflict and disempowerment may be factors affecting the interactions between language and literature faculty. The users will be able to draw on the findings of this evaluation to (a) reflect on their local reality and identify structural factors that may be conflict generating and disempowering; (b) use the empowerment strategies suggested in this chapter as a starting point to devise their own strategies in order to reduce inequities in FLL departments; and (c) engage in further discussion with the evaluator, provide further input, discuss the creation of a working group equally representing first-tier and second-tier faculty, and collectively prioritize a plan of action.
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Citation
Zannirato, A. (2014). Promoting change in the “two-tiered” departments: An exploratory evaluation of conflict and empowerment levels among language and literature faculty. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 154-182. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69738
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