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Examining the Effect of Goal Clarity on Faculty Performance

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Focus on Faculty Development

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Pradeep Kashinath Waychal Guruji Education Foundation Orcid 16x16

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Dr Pradeep Waychal is a founder trustee and the chair of Guruji Education Foundation that provides holistic support to the education of underprivileged students and operates on funding from friends. The foundation has recently extended its work in diverse areas such research in engineering education, youth employability and teaching computer science to adolescents. Earlier, Dr Waychal has worked at Patni Computer Systems for 20 years in various positions including the head of innovations, NMIMS as the director Shirpur campus and at College of Engineering Pune (COEP) as the founder head of the innovation Center.

Dr Waychal earned his Ph D in the area of developing Innovation Competencies in Information System Organizations from IIT Bombay and M Tech in Control Engineering from IIT Delhi. He has presented keynote / invited talks in many high profile international conferences and has published papers in peer-reviewed journals. He / his teams have won awards in Engineering Education, Innovation, Six Sigma, and Knowledge Management at international events. Recently, his paper won the Best Teaching Strategies Paper award at the most respected international conference in the area of engineering education - Annual conference of American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). His current research interests are engineering education, software engineering, and developing innovative entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

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The most important ingredient needed for an educational organization to succeed is excellent performances of its faculty members. With that ingredient in place, everything else, such as, development of infrastructure, collaboration with industry and social organizations, and other universities as well as quality intake of students can progress rapidly.

We hypothesized that performance of a faculty depends on their being inspired which in turn depends on having clarity of their individual goals and alignment between individual and organizational goals. Some faculty members are inherently inspired, have clarity and proper alignment of the goals and perform very well. The administration has to just ensure that they are allowed to function smoothly. The number of such inspired faculty is usually small, though. The rest of faculty member’s performance has to be brought to the required levels. They would not have really thought about and chiseled out their goals or sought their alignment with the organizational goals. Such faculty members require facilitation for goal-setting for which we decided to use a movie. We screened a popular Indian movie called “Lakshya” (meaning “target or goal”) to all the faculty members at a university campus housing three different schools and having ninety-four faculty members. The movie emphasizes the importance of setting goals. We then asked faculty members to reflect on their goals and after a couple of days administered a google survey that sought their goals. We found out that out of eighty-eight faculty members who were present for the movie screening, forty-five did not have clarity of their goals, one didn’t want to disclose the goal and three had self-oriented goals such as obtaining a higher degree. The rest thirty-nine did have clarity of the goals and they were aligned with the organizational goals.

A year after the above exercise, we evaluated the performance of faculty members based on peer ratings and correlated it with their goal clarity. We chose peer rating as it takes into account all the aspects – teaching, research and service - of faculty member’s performance. We found that the performance of faculty members who had clarity was significantly better (p value 0.0002) than the rest. We need to iterate this experiment in different settings to validate the findings. We also need to catalyze the goal-setting through other means such as special counseling sessions and assess its impact on goal clarity and performance. It may be worthwhile to use 360 degrees feedback to evaluate faculty performance.

Waychal, P. K. (2016, June), Examining the Effect of Goal Clarity on Faculty Performance Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26797

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