Date of Award

Summer 2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

John M. Ritz

Committee Member

John E. Turner

Committee Member

Patrick M. Konopnich


The purpose of this study was to develop a list of the most relevant external environmental constituencies and responses to those elements that should be used by facility administrators of urban advanced technology centers. A three-round Delphi research method was conducted to garner the perceptions of the panel participants. The President's Advisory Council and the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers were asked to nominate facility administrators of urban advanced technology centers to serve as expert panel participants. Of the 17 facility administrators nominated, nine agreed to participate and completed all three rounds of the investigation.

The first research question asked facility administrators to define those external environmental constituencies of urban advanced technology centers that are relevant to goal setting, goal achievement, effectiveness, and survival. From the inputs of the panelists, 14 relevant external environmental constituencies were derived. The results identified a broad array of external influences including other educational organizations, area politicians, cultural values, demographics, and economic development organizations.

The second research question was to determine the relative importance of the 14 identified external environmental constituencies. Median scores assessing the relevance of the external environmental constituencies were obtained from the final two rounds of the Delphi study. With total consensus, area business and advanced technology center cultural values were perceived to be the most relevant external environmental constituencies. Economic and market forces, information technologies, and current workers were identified by the panelists to be relevant to urban advanced technology centers. Accrediting agencies and taxpayers were perceived by the panelists to have only limited relevance to goal setting, goal achievement, effectiveness, and survival of urban advanced technology centers.

To answer research question three, how should facility administrators of urban advanced technology centers respond to the 14 identified relevant external environmental constituencies, the researcher reviewed various external management strategies for possible use. The external management strategies suggested were planning and forecasting, boundary spanning, adjusting internal operations, establishing favorable linkages and altering the external environment.

The findings from this study provide facility administrators of urban advanced technology centers with a listing of relevant external environmental constituencies as perceived by other practicing facility administrators. Use of these findings could prove beneficial to urban advanced technology center facility administrators attempting to respond to the multitude of demands from external environmental constituencies.


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