Questions on word document
Multiple Regression Review
1) Please explain why the adjusted R Square is less than the Unadjusted R Square.
2) Why do coefficient values change when a new variable is added to a regression? Please explain.
3) Should you use raw coefficients or betas to determine which variable is most important? Please explain.
Look at Table 2 in the Bohte article (p.95)
1) What is the dependent variable for the regression?
2) How does the model fit? Please report the Adjusted R Square and interpret it.
3) Bohte uses a single p value level to determine statistical significance. What is the p value threshold he uses? (i.e. p) 4) Do you think it would've been better to include other p value thresholds as well? Please explain. 5) According to Table 2, which variable(s) ARE NOT statistically significant? 6) According to the table, which variable is MOST important? Please explain how you reached this conclusion. 92 Public Administration Review January/February 2001, Vol. 61, No. 1 John Bohte Oakland University School Bureaucracy and Student Performance at the Local Level A major debate in American education centers on the role bureaucracy plays in shaping educa- tional performance. Proponents of school choice argue that large educational bureaucracies have contributed to dramatic performance shortfalls in Americas public schools. Other scholars view educational bureaucracies as beneficial because they manage a wide range of problems and thus make it easier for teachers to focus on the core task of teaching. This study examines these compet- ing claims about the impact of bureaucracy on student performance using district level data from Texas public schools. The findings from several regression models reveal negative relationships between bureaucracy (measured both at the central and campus administration levels) and stu- dent performance across several different grade levels. Scholars, political officials, the media, and the public have paid a great deal of attention to the topic of school choice in recent years. Scholarly attention has focused primarily on whether a market-based approach to education improves edu- cational quality more than the traditional monopoly-based system of public education in America. School-choice ad- vocates (Chubb and Moe 1990; Fliegel and MacGuire 1993) argue that school choice allows parents and students to flee low-quality public schools and move to higher-quality pri- vate schools. Thus, school choice forces public schools to improve in order to remain competitive with private schools. Critics of school choice (Henig 1994; Smith 1994; Smith and Meier 1995; Witte 1991, 1992) point to a large body of empirical evidence showing that few of the alleged benefits of school choice are realized when such programs are imple- mented and their effects are examined. In addition to look- ing at the effectiveness of school-choice programs in im- proving student performance, scholars have examined how parents acquire knowledge about school-choice programs (Schneider et al. 1998) and how school-choice programs effect the building of social capital in local communities (Schneider et al. 1997). Although a variety of research questions relate to school choice, one of the most interesting questions, from a pub- lic administration standpoint, is the impact of bureaucracy on public school performance. Two prominent advocates of the choice paradigm, John Chubb and Terry Moe (1990), claim that public schools perform poorly because expan- sive centralized bureaucracies limit teachers discretion to propose and implement innovative solutions to educational problems. Underlying Chubb and Moes argument is the belief that administrators are not street-level bureaucrats, and thus do not appreciate or understand the day-to-day problems that schools face. For instance, administrators may lack the experience of direct and constant interaction with students. Because education is based largely on stu- dent-teacher interactions, administrators add little value to the core task of teaching. Their lack of day-to-day interac- tion with students also makes it difficult for administra- tors to measure student performance; administrators spend their time collecting and analyzing quantitative indicators that may be of dubious value in measuring performance. In contrast, teachers concentrate on doing their jobs well, working directly with students to improve performance, rather than collecting and reviewing performance indica- tors. When it comes to addressing the needs of parents and students, teachers have an advantage over administrators because their in-the-trenches experience better prepares them to address the needs of their client populations. In direct contrast to Chubb and Moe, Smith and Meier (1994, 1995) argue that bureaucracy can be a positive tool in the management of public schools. Whereas Chubb and John Bohte is an assistant professor of political science at Oakland Univer- sity, Rochester, Michigan. His research and teaching interests include public budgeting, research methods, and the role bureaucratic structure plays in shaping policy outcomes. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Texas A&M University. E-mail: [emailprotected] School Bureaucracy and Student Performance at the Local Level 93 Moe view bureaucracy as an outgrowth of democratic con- trol of public schools, Smith and Meier contend that bu- reaucracy arises from problems in school environments. This is especially true, they argue, in the case of urban schools: Many students in urban schools live in poverty or come from low-income family backgrounds, requiring administrators to implement and oversee school lunch, re- medial education, and other poverty-related programs. Bureaucracy can be a positive force when these problems exist because the absence of administrators would place additional burdens on teachers, forcing them to spend more time on administrative matters rather than teaching stu- dents. Smith and Meier conclude that reducing bureaucracy in schools could lead to declining performance, as fewer experts are available to address administrative matters. While both Chubb and Moe and Smith and Meier present persuasive arguments, our knowledge of the impact of bureaucracy on school performance remains limited. As Smith and Meier (1994, 551) point out, Chubb and Moes assessment is based largely on the subjective evaluations of school principals. Moreover, Chubb and Moe never for- mally define bureaucracy in their work, but instead speak in general terms about hierarchical, rulebound, and for- malistic organizations (Smith and Meier 1995, 40). Although Smith and Meier formally measure and as- sess the impact of bureaucracy on school performance in their research, they use state educational systems as the unit of analysis in their models. The authors admit that aggregation at the state level may mask lower level varia- tion evident at the district level (1994, 552). Thus, to bet- ter understand bureaucracys relationship to school per- formance, a more appropriate strategy would be to examine school districts in one state, rather than in different state school systems. The current study examines the impact of bureaucracy on school performance using district-level data for Texas public schools. After briefly discussing the data used in the analysis, the dependent variables used to assess stu- dent performance are defined. Next, measures of bureau- cracy and several control variables are defined. The im- pact of bureaucracy on student performance will be examined using regression analysis. The article closes by summarizing the effects of bureaucracy in public schools and the implications for public policy. Nature of the Data Set The study is based on data from 350 school districts in the State of Texas. Each district included at least 1,000 students.1 All districts were multiracial, meaning that dis- tricts with greater than 90 percent Anglo students were excluded from the analysis. Data for each district cov- ered the years 1991 to 1996. Out of 2,100 cases, a total of 2,097 were usable cases. Three cases were excluded from the analysis due to missing data for one or more vari- ables. Data for all dependent and independent variables used in the analysis were obtained from the Texas Edu- cation Agency. Dependent Variables: Measures of Performance State law in Texas mandates that public school students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 must take standardized reading and mathematics tests every year. Writing tests are also administered for students in grades 4, 8, and 10. The skills exams are administered and scored by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) under the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) program, initiated in 1990 to better monitor the quality of education in Texas schools. Schools receive ratings from TEA ranging from exemplary to academically unacceptable, based in part on students pass rates on TAAS exams. The adoption and use of TAAS exams in Texas is in line with a growing movement across state governments to ensure that schools are held account- able for their performance (Saffell and Basehart 1997, 336). While standardized skills tests clearly cannot measure students overall learning experience, they can assess whether students are learning basic academic skills from grade to grade. Thus, the first performance indicator used in the analysis was the percentage of students in each school district who passed TAAS reading, mathematics, and writ- ing exams each year.2 The second performance measure used in the analysis was the mean total SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) scores for each school district. SAT and ACT (American College Testing Program) are often used as indicators of student or school performance, but caution must be exercised in mak- ing inferences from these test scores. College entrance exams may do a better job of testing raw intelligence than assessing the body of knowledge that students accumulate during their stay in school (Smith and Meier 1995, 84). Another common complaint about these tests is that they are biased in favor of students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Chubb and Moe claim that tracking the per- formance of the same student cohorts throughout their aca- demic careers is a better way to measure student perfor- mance. Unfortunately, such data are not widely available. Although SAT scores are certainly limited as performance indicators, the scores provide a common measure to rank and compare student performance across all school dis- tricts in Texas. Two dependent variables were used to assess the per- formance of different types of students. TAAS reading, mathematics, and writing exam scores were used to exam- ine the performance of all students in general. SAT scores 94 Public Administration Review January/February 2001, Vol. 61, No. 1 were used to examine only the performance of college- bound students.3 Independent Variables Measures of Bureaucracy Two measures of bureaucracy were used in the analy- sis. The first was the percentage of central administrators as a fraction of total full-time district employees. Central administrators include superintendents, assistant superin- tendents, business managers, and personnel directors. Of- ten, central administrators are derided as paper shufflers who are too far removed from the realities of day-to-day school life. The second bureaucracy variable was the percentage of campus administrators as a fraction of total full-time district employees. Campus administrators include prin- cipals, assistant principals, and instructional officers. Campus administrators are especially influential in shap- ing student performance because they have more direct and frequent contacts with both teachers and students than central administrators. The bureaucracy variables help to sort out the contend- ing claims advanced by Chubb and Moe and Smith and Meier. Following the logic of Smith and Meier (1994), there should be a positive relationship between the bureaucracy variables and student performance. The work of Chubb and Moe, however, suggests a negative relationship be- tween these variables and student performance. Chubb and Moe (1990, 38) claim that education is a bottom-heavy technology in which bureaucrats add little value relative to teachers in influencing student per- formance. Thus, it is important to examine the impact of teachers on student performance. If Chubb and Moe are correct, then districts with higher percentages of teach- ers should see better student performance. Therefore, a third independent variable, the percentage of teachers as a fraction of all full-time employees, was introduced to examine this relationship.4 Environmental Diversity Variables Smith and Meier (1994) contend that educational bureau- cracies develop in response to environmental demands such as poverty or the need for remedial education. This is espe- cially true in urban schools, where student populations are often heterogenous.5 To adequately test whether bureaucracy improves student performance, controls must be included to account for these environmental characteristics. Three variables were used to control for environmental diversity: the percentage of African-American students per district; the percentage of Hispanic students per district6 and the per- centage of low-income students per district. Low-income students are defined as students eligible for free or reduced-price meals through school lunch pro- grams. As Chubb and Moe (1990, 1067) and Coleman (1966) have found, family background plays an extremely important role in student performance. Generally, students who come from families with higher incomes do better than students who come from families with lower incomes. Families with higher annual incomes can spend more on important learning tools such as computers, calculators, and encyclopedias. Parents from higher socioeconomic strata also tend to interact more with teachers and other school officials than parents from lower socioeconomic strata (Chubb and Moe 1990, 1723). District Resources The final variable used in the analysis was district ex- penditure on instruction per pupil. There is a great deal of controversy about whether expenditures on education ac- tually improve student performance. Some researchers have found that expenditures matter a great deal in shaping stu- dent performance (Chubb and Moe 1990, 1023; Hedges et al. 1994). But prominent critic of this perspective, Erik Hanushek (1986, 1989, 1996), finds that educational re- sources have no clear effect on student performance. While there is no consensus about the impact of expenditures on student performance, it is important to control for district differences in economic resources, especially in a state such as Texas, where school districts resources vary so widely. Methods Two multiple regressions were estimated. The first model examined the relationship between bureaucracy and student performance on TAAS reading, arithmetic, and writing exams; the second examined the relationship between bureaucracy and student performance on the SAT. After initial model results were obtained, regres- sion diagnostics were examined to aid in the develop- ment of final models.7,8 Only the results for the final models are reported here. Findings Tables 1 and 2 report the results for student performance on TAAS standardized skills tests and student performance on the SAT, respectively. Model 1 supports Chubb and Moes contention that bureaucracy has a negative effect on school performance. Higher numbers of administrative personnel lead to lower student performance on TAAS exams. This negative rela- tionship holds true for both the percent campus adminis- trator and percent central administrator variables. Specifi- cally, for every 1-percent increase in the ratio of central School Bureaucracy and Student Performance at the Local Level 95 administrators to full-time district employees, student pass rates on TAAS exams declined by almost one percentage point. Results for the campus administrators variable are even stronger: student pass rates on TAAS exams declined by more than one percentage point for every one-percent increase in the ratio of campus administrators to full-time district employees. The percent teachers variable was posi- tively related to student performance on TAAS exams. Each one-percent increase in the ratio of teachers to full-time district employees produced a 0.10 percentage point im- provement in student pass rates on TAAS reading, math- ematics, and writing exams. Findings on the impact of bureaucracy on student SAT scores (model 2) were consistent with those obtained in model 1.9 The slope coefficient for percent central admin- istrators reveals that for every one-percent increase in the ratio of central administrators to full-time district employ- ees, average district SAT scores declined by nearly 10 per- centage points. For each one-percent increase in the ratio of campus administrators to full-time employees, average district SAT scores declined by nearly six percentage points. A one-percent increase in the ratio of teachers to full-time district employees contributed to a one-point increase in average district SAT scores. The findings for both of these models are particularly significant, in that several controls for environmental di- versity were included in the analysis. As expected, the con- trols for percent low-income, percent African-American, and percent Hispanic students per district all had a nega- tive impact on reading, arithmetic, and writing test scores as well as SAT scores.10 Even in the face of strong findings on these diversity variables, both bureaucracy variables had a negative impact on student performance. In addition to illustrating the impact of bureaucracy on student performance, both models support the view advanced by Chubb and Moe that teachers, as street-level bureaucrats, generally add more to the education process than adminis- trators. TAAS reading, arithmetic, and writing exams, along with the SAT, assess students comprehension of material learned in the classroom. Because teachers play the primary role in educating students, a greater presence of teachers increases the number of contacts students have with the in- dividuals who play the greatest role in educating them. Dis- tricts with higher percentages of teachers may have smaller classes and greater student-teacher interaction than districts where teachers make up a relatively low percentage of all full-time employees. There is some debate as to whether educational expen- ditures produce improvements in student performance. Tables 1 and 2 show that a positive relationship between expenditures and student performance exists in both the TAAS and SAT models. A likely explanation for this rela- tionship is that expenditures lead to improvements such as more computers, new facilities, and better instructional materialsall of which contribute to a more positive learn- ing atmosphere (Chubb and Moe 1990, 102). Although this variable was included mainly for control purposes, these findings suggest that future research should not ignore the impact of expenditures on student and school performance. The Impact of Bureaucracy by Grade Although table 1 reveals that bureaucracy negatively affects student performance on TAAS reading, arithmetic, and writing exams, results may differ if we disaggregate the data and look at the impact of bureaucracy by grade. Recall Smith and Meiers (1994) claim that educational Table 2 Bureaucracy and Student SAT Performance (Dependent variable = average SAT score) Independent variable Coefficient/(beta) Standard error t statistic Bureaucracy % Central admin. 9.98 (.061) 2.36 4.23* % Campus admin. 5.64 (.097) 2.35 2.40* % Teachers 1.14 (.076) .357 3.18* Environmental diversity % Low-income 1.29 (.298) .324 12.75* % Black .477 (.125) .103 4.66* Instructional spending .0086 (.051) .005 1.83 per pupil % Taking Exam .442 (.094) .116 3.80* Constant = 860.3 R2 = .20 Adj. R2 = .19 F = 34.70 N of cases = 1,664 * p < .05 Note: Dummy variables used to control for autocorrelation are not reported. Coeffi- cient/beta column includes both unstandardized slope coefficients and betas. Table 1 Bureaucracy and Student Performance on Reading, Arithmetic, and Writing Exams (Dependent variable = percentage of students passing exams) Independent variable Coefficient/(beta) Standard error t statistic Bureaucracy % Central admin. .794 (.044) .228 3.48* % Campus admin. 1.198 (.061) .234 5.12* % Teachers .1045 (.037) .036 2.93* Environmental diversity % Low-income .335 (.431) .015 22.51* % Black .242 (.273) .015 16.70* % Hispanic .101 (.192) .011 9.22* Instructional spending .006 (.168) .0005 11.76* per pupil Constant = 62.01 R2 = .73 Adj. R2 = .72 F = 466 N of cases = 2,097 * p < .05 Note: Dummy variables used to control for autocorrelation are not reported. Coeffi- cient/beta column includes both unstandardized slope coefficients and betas. 96 Public Administration Review January/February 2001, Vol. 61, No. 1 bureaucracies exist to address environmental problems, such as gangs, violence, drug use, career counseling, stu- dent pregnancy, and the need for remedial education problems which tend to occur more frequently at the high school level. At lower grade levels (such as the second or third grades), issues such as student pregnancy, violence, drug use, and remedial education are generally not major problems for administrators. Based on Smith and Meiers (1994) logic, bureaucracy should have a negative impact on student performance at lower grade levels because schools at these levels gener- ally have fewer environmental problems. For example, the need for remedial education at the second- or third- grade levels is not likely to be as great as it is at the ninth- or tenth-grade levels. In contrast, bureaucracy should have a positive impact on student performance at higher grade levels because there is simply more work for administra- tors to do. Students at higher grade levels may have prob- lems with drug use or gang involvement, and they may require career counseling and preparation for college. Chronic truancy, pregnancy, sexually-transmitted dis- eases, and an array of other problems provide a rationale for hiring more administrators to deal with such environ- mental demands. Fortunately, performance data on TAAS exams are avail- able for grades 3, 7, and 11 for the years 1991 to 1996.11 A model for each grade level was developed using the same independent variables as used in model 1, which exam- ined student performance on TAAS exams across all grade levels. Results by grade are shown in tables 3, 4, and 5. The results across all three grade levels are mixed. The percent teachers had a strong positive relationship to stu- dent performance in both the third- and seventh-grade models. At grade 3, the percent central administrators had a negative impact on student performance. Findings for the percent campus administrators, although in the pre- dicted negative direction, were not statistically significant. At grade seven, the percent campus administrators was sta- tistically significant in the hypothesized negative direc- tion. Although negative, the coefficient for the percent cen- tral administrators was not statistically significant in the model for seventh-grade student performance. The model for eleventh-grade student performance pro- vides the crucial test of Smith and Meiers (1994) hypoth- Table 5 Bureaucracy and Student Performance on Reading and Arithmetic Exams (Dependent variable = percentage of eleventh-grade students passing exams) Independent variable Coefficient/(beta) Standard error t statistic Bureaucracy % Central admin. .233 (.013) .406 .58 % Campus admin. 1.51 (.071) .464 3.25* % Teachers .0667 (.022) .068 .98 Environmental diversity % Low-income .244 (.284) .029 8.15* % Black .257 (.265) .029 8.85* % Hispanic .115 (.204) .021 5.26* Instructional spending .005 (.132) .0009 5.74* per pupil Constant = 71.43 R2 = .55 Adj. R2 = .55 F = 142.49 N of cases = 1,037 * p < .05 Note: Dummy variables used to control for autocorrelation are not reported. Coeffi- cient/beta column includes both unstandardized slope coefficients and betas. Table 3 Bureaucracy and Student Performance on Reading and Arithmetic Exams (Dependent variable = percentage of third-grade students passing exams) Independent variable Coefficient/(beta) Standard error t statistic Bureaucracy % Central admin. 1.29 (.075) .472 2.73* % Campus admin. .617 (.029) .540 1.14 % Teachers .246 (.084) .081 3.06* Environmental diversity % Low-income .365 (.441) .035 10.41* % Black .114 (.122) .034 3.37* % Hispanic .042 (.077) .025 1.65 Instructional spending .003 (.079) .001 2.87* per pupil Constant = 63.76 R2 = .35 Adj. R2 = .34 F = 61.84 N of cases = 1,034 * p < .05 Note: Dummy variables used to control for autocorrelation are not reported. Coeffi- cient/beta column includes both unstandardized slope coefficients and betas. Table 4 Bureaucracy and Student Performance on Reading and Arithmetic Exams (Dependent variable = percentage of seventh-grade students passing exams) Independent variable Coefficient/(beta) Standard error t statistic Bureaucracy % Central admin. .241 (.014) .379 .64 % Campus admin. 1.81 (.091) .434 4.17* % Teachers .222 (.077) .065 3.43* Environmental diversity % Low-income .356 (.433) .028 12.62* % Black .217 (.239) .027 7.98* % Hispanic .095 (.179) .021 4.62* Instructional spending .004 (.096) .0009 4.15* per pupil Constant = 52.91 R2 = .55 Adj. R2 = .54 F = 141.01 N of cases = 1,034 * p < .05 Note: Dummy variables used to control for autocorrelation are not reported. Coeffi- cient/beta column includes both unstandardized slope coefficients and betas. School Bureaucracy and Student Performance at the Local Level 97 esis that bureaucracy may benefit student performance at higher grade levels. While the coefficient for the percent central administrators does become positive in this model, the relationship is not statistically significant. Results for the percent campus administrators show a statistically sig- nificant negative relationship to student performance. The positive coefficient for the percent central administrators variable, coupled with an insignificant coefficient for the percent teachers variable, points toward some differences in the factors that shape student performance at higher and lower grade levels. However, the findings across these three models generally do not support the theory that bureau- cracy is beneficial at higher grade levels, where there are more complex school environments. Conclusion This study examined the impact of bureaucracy on stu- dent performance using district-level data for Texas school districts. In general, the results presented here support Chubb and Moes view that bureaucracy has a negative impact on student performance. Across all grades, higher levels of bureaucracy were found to negatively affect stu- dent pass rates on standardized reading, arithmetic, and writing tests, as well as student performance on the SAT. A positive relationship was found between percent teachers per district and these student performance indicators, sup- porting the view that teachers add more to the educational process than administrators. Results by individual grades revealed a negative relationship between bureaucracy and student performance as well. Across several of the models, the negative slope coeffi- cients for the campus administrators were much larger than those for the central administrators. In the models for stu- dent performance on TAAS exams at the seventh-and elev- enth-grade levels, the slope coefficients for the percent campus administrators pointed to declines in exam perfor- mance of one and a half to two percentage points for every one-percentage-point increase in the number of campus administrators. In contrast, coefficients for the central ad- ministrators in both models were much smaller (see tables 4 and 5). Similar results for the two administrator vari- ables were found in model 1, which focused on the perfor- mance of all students on TAAS exams (see table 1). One possible explanation for these findings is that directives from campus administrators have a greater impact on the day-to-day work of teachers than directives from central administrators. Chubb and Moe point out that battles at the campus level often take place between principals, who work to limit teachers discretion, and teachers, who want more discretion over how they educate students (1990, 51). Certainly, the negative relationship between bureaucracy and student performance found here does not tell the whole story about the role bureaucrats play in Americas schools. Principals, assistant principals, superintendents, personnel directors, and other administrators all handle important administrative matters that teachers do not have the time nor the expertise to address. Slashing bureaucracy in pub- lic schools would almost certainly bring about declines in school performance as teachers assumed duties normally assigned to administrators. To put it another way, bureau- crats are best at buffering, while teachers are best at pro- duction. Public schools performance, especially in ur- ban settings, is constantly under attack by the media, state legislatures, and community and business leaders. Admin- istrators play an invaluable role in shouldering the respon- sibility for the criticisms and complaints levied by these groups, buffering teachers from these matters and allow- ing them to devote more of their time to teaching students. Nevertheless, the findings presented here do point to a negative relationship between bureaucracy and school per- formance. Yet our knowledge about this relationship re- mains tentative, and additional questions remain that must be addressed before any firm policy recommendations can be made to alter the bureaucracy in Americas public schools to maximize performance. This study has focused on bureaucracy and student performance on standardized tests; however, school performance is a multidimensional concept, and it is important to keep in mind that exam re- sults are only one indicator of performance. The role of bureaucracy in shaping other variables such as graduation, dropout, and attendance rates might be examined to broaden our knowledge about the areas in which bureaucracy ben- efits or deters school performance. Additionally, work re- mains to be done on the chicken and egg question posed by Smith and Meier (1995): Which comes first? Poor stu- dent performance? Or top-heavy administrative structures? It may be the case that poor student performance leads to more administrators being hired to shore up performance, rather than bureaucracy causing poor student performance. Careful study of these questions will provide additional evidence as to whether school choice advocates are cor- rect in their assertions about the role that bureaucracy plays in shaping school performance. Acknowledgments I would like to thank Ken Meier and the anonymous review- ers of PAR for providing helpful guidance on this project. 98 Public Administration Review January/February 2001, Vol. 61, No. 1 Notes 1. For districts with enrollments below 1,000 students, data for many key variables were highly skewed and plagued by severe kurtosis. Additionally, standard deviations on sev- eral of the variables for districts with enrollments below 1,000 students were double or triple those for districts with enrollments greater than 1,000 students. In selecting cases for the analysis, the 1,000-plus enrollment cutoff was used to avoid small school districts where outlying data points could exert a significant impact on the results. Aside from the statistical problems associated with small districts, there is a theoretical rationale for looking at larger school dis- tricts. The debate over school choice centers on the prob- lems of large urban public schools. Smith and Meier (1994) hypothesize that bureaucracy should be especially benefi- cial in schools with heterogenous student populations, where there are severe problems such as gangs, teen pregnancy, drug use, and high dropout rates. These sorts of problems are most prevalent in urban school environments. Addition- ally, school choice programs have been adopted primarily in large urban settings such as East Harlem, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and San Antonio. Thus, the sampling frame of districts with 1,000 or SHOW MORE... summarize doc Tasks Complete a research assignment The components: Summarize an article. Present your Executive Summary in memo form to me your boss at Walmart Inc. Executive Summary Memo Details Your Executive Summary should be in an informal memo. Ensure your memo is free from grammatical, spelling and formatting errors. You must include a reference/works cited page using MLA style for citing your work. Ensure that your citations includes the name of the Article, page number, volume and issue number. two pages. Managing Hybrid Teams: Enabling Effective Virtual and Hybrid Work April/May 2022 Volume 12 Issue 01 ISSN 2755-7561 Whats the Word on WordPress? ex ec ut iv es up po rt m ag az in e. co m The Essential Training Resource for the Worlds Administrative Professionals Interviewing Your Interviewer: Why I Talked a CEO Out of Hiring Me The Mystery of EBIT and EBITDA RICHARD ARNOTT UK SARAH RICHSON Kenya SUE FRANCE UK RHONDA SCHARF Canada VANIA ALESSI Italy VICKIE SOKOL EVANS USA MELISSA ESQUIBEL USA MICHELLE BOWDITCH Australia NINA AUNULA Finland MELBA DUNCAN USA PAULA MOIO Angola PEPITA SOLER Brazil DIANA BRANDL Germany ETH LLOYD, MNZM New Zealand HELEN MONUMENT The Netherlands BONNIE LOW-KRAMEN USA JOAN BURGE USA LIZEBETH KOLOKO-GREEN France MEET YOUR EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD The global authorities for our profession, the members of the Executive Support Magazine Editorial Board are experts in their fields, dedicated to ensuring the administrative profession remains at the forefront of business. Board members regularly share their expertise within the magazine and provide guidance and inspiration on future topics and issues that are important to administrative professionals around the world. A New Era At a recent meeting with a client where we were talking about how they could better utilise their administrative function, one of the board members asked me whether I felt that an Assistant could work remotely. It seemed a strange question. Matthew (my former Executive Assistant) and I worked almost entirely remotely for nine years, and havent we all just spent the last two years doing just that? Communication, of course, is key. As are the right resources. When I suggested that it wasnt necessarily whether an Assistant COULD work from home but rather whether they had the right tools to do so, the board member realised they hadnt thought of that. I was astounded. It hadnt occurred to them that not everyone had a dedicated space to work from, an ergonomically friendly chair, or high-speed Wi-Fi. The latest research from Accenture shows that 83% of employees want the option of hybrid working moving forwards. In fact, 47% say they would look for another job if their company didnt offer a hybrid option. Employees want the ability to have a flexible schedule, less commuting time and expense and more time with family. But they also want the space away from distractions, time with colleagues, better technology, routine and visibility. And yet for many, there is real anxiety about returning to an office. We worry about safety because its not clear how its going to work. Transitions naturally spike our anxiety, and whenever we have stopped doing something for a period of time, we feel anxious about returning to it. Our routines have changed, as have our social relationships and boundaries, so its natural to feel a level of anxiety. Our cover story this month is from the excellent Peter Ivanov. He explains how to manage hybrid teams and enable effective virtual and hybrid work. Peter will also be speaking at our 48-hour online conference in June, ES Global. His session is one you wont want to miss. Elsewhere in the new magazine is a profile of my EA, Franziska Lielje. Change is always hard, and as most of you know, Matthew left in January. After nine years of working together, it was always going to be an adjustment, but Fran is more than up to the job and as much as I miss Matt, this new chapter is an interesting and exciting one. Matt has set up his own Virtual Assistant business with his wife, Kayleigh, and I am sure it will be hugely successful. We wish them both the very best of luck with their new venture. Thank you, Matt, for everything you have done over the last nine years to support both me and the Assistant community. We look forward to seeing you at Executive Support LIVE in July and to celebrating your contribution properly then. Its the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new one. Lucy Brazier OBE CEO Marcham Publishing Lucy Brazier OBE [emailprotected] +44 (0)203 973 7752 Twitter @lucybrazier Skype lucy-brazier Senior Editor Kathleen Drum [emailprotected] Training Director Christian Russell [emailprotected] Events Director Justin Roach [emailprotected]upportmedia.com Office Manager & EA to Lucy Brazier Franziska Lielje [emailprotected] Sales Office, Javea, Spain +34 865 616 094 Sophie Douglas - Sales Manager [emailprotected] Ana Fawdry Account Manager [emailprotected] Elaine Williams Account Manager [emailprotected] Rose McGowan - Marketing & Ecommerce Manager [emailprotected] Wayne Tomlinson - Web Developer [emailprotected] Design MAP Systems [emailprotected] For all subscription enquiries please email [emailprotected] Executive Support Magazine is also available as a corporate subscription in print or online. Executive Support Magazine is published bi-monthly by Marcham Publishing Marcham Publishing Parkshot House, 5 Kew Road Richmond, Surrey TW9 2PR United Kingdon +44 (0)203 973 7752 www.executivesupportmedia.com also available at: Articles published in Executive Support Magazine are the opinion of the authors. The views reflected do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publishers. Marcham Publishing 2022 (except where otherwise stated). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Marcham Publishing. ISSN 2046-3855. 4. 6. 7. 9. Managing Hybrid Teams: Enabling Effective Virtual and Hybrid Work Peter Ivanov details 12 tips to communicate, collaborate and co-create in hybrid teams Newsletter Tools for Internal Communication Michelle Bowditchs top tools to easily create engaging internal newsletters Fran Lielje Fran Lielje is the Executive Assistant to Lucy Brazier, OBE and the Office Manager at Executive Support Media Whats the Word on WordPress? Step outside your comfort zone and step into the world of web content by experimenting with WordPress, says Marie Herman COVER STORY PROFILETECHNOLOGY Interviewing Your Interviewer: Why I Talked a CEO out of Hiring Me Before you sell yourself for the role, let your interviewer sell you on the role, explains Megan Bishop A Practical Guide to Choosing and Booking Professional Speakers Choosing a professional guest speaker can be a pleasure rather than a problem, explains Diana Boulter What is Keeping the C-Suite Awake at Night? The C-Suite has had to be agile and continues to make difficult decisions, explains Thom Dennis The Mystery of EBIT and EBITDA Do EBIT and EBITDA give a better indication of the true operational performance of the business? asks Richard Arnott 12. 13. 15. 17. CAREER DEVELOPMENT EVENTS EXCELLENCE BUSINESS STRATEGY AND ACUMENLEADERSHIP TECHNOLOGY TWO Everything You Need To Know About Achieving Career Success Create your own success and build a robust and sustainable career says Julia Schmidt Active Awareness: The Essence of Resilience Active awareness implies we are the author of our experiences, explains Jason Liem 19. 22. 23. 25.CAREER DEVELOPMENT OPINION CAREER DEVELOPMENT HEALTH AND WELLBEING The 12th World Administrators Summit The World Administrators Summit is a working meeting that discusses the issues challenging our profession across the globe, explains Helen Monument My Journey to TEDx Bonnie Low-Kramen gives us a behind-the-scenes look at taking part in a virtual TEDx TABLE OF CONTENTS 29. Advice for When You Hate Your Job Rhonda Scharf shares tips to help you create a better situation for yourself Eliminating Networking Anxiety Chi Chi Okezie advises applying simple techniques and creating a plan to overcome networking anxiety 28. CAREER DEVELOPMENT CAREER DEVELOPMENT THREE TECHNOLOGYOPINION 37.36. 31. The Coding Evolution: The Bigger Picture Is coding truly the next skill and technology to learn as an administrative professional? asks Vonetta Watson Track Your Time Traci Williams explains how to set up a spreadsheet so that you can track your time Levelling Up in the 2022 Workplace How can virtual new starters feel more connected to their company? asks Tray Durrant TECHNOLOGY 33. Going Green: The EAs Role in Sustainability Pat Woods details eight best practices you can employ to move your organization to a more sustainable future CAREER DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP45.41. 40. 43. Organizational Change: Start SMALL for a Big Impact The Global Skills Matrix places Assistants firmly in the role of catalysts for successful organizational change, explains Aliina Rowe How to Respond to Trolls How can you protect your career if someone is trolling you or your business? asks Amanda Hamilton Holding on to Gratitude Your life script may not be within your own control, but the attitude you exhibit is, says Carole Spiers The Benefits of Speaking More than One Language Knowing a foreign language can help with communication and building relationships, explains Carla Stefanut CAREER DEVELOPMENTCOMMUNICATION PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT COVER STORY W R IT ER PE TE R IV A N O V FOUR Managing Hybrid Teams: Enabling Effective Virtual and Hybrid Work Peter Ivanov details 12 tips to communicate, collaborate and co-create in hybrid teams Weve been working remotely for nearly two years, and with COVID-19 many companies have now introduced policies for hybrid working. In hybrid teams, some people are in the office and the rest are working from home or from other remote locations. A client of mine has decided that their business will be working from home or remotely for 60% of the week, and the other 40% (two days a week) people will have to work in the office. The challenge here is to foster home-office productivity but also to enable this mix of people to communicate, collaborate and co-create in the best possible way. During the pandemic and the challenge of remote work, people broadly responded in one of two ways. Introverted-thinking people thrived; they are mostly keen to continue to work from home. Extroverted- feeling people struggled with the extended amount of time at home; they cant wait to get back to the office. In a hybrid workspace, we need to take care of the needs of both types of people. Psychological Safety Google ran a project called Google Aristotle which researched the common characteristics of the best performing teams. During the data-heavy research, Google discovered that in their best performing teams, there was an equal share of talking during meetings: extroverts were quiet for some of the time and the introverts dared to speak up, so in the end they all had an equal share of talking and nearly equal contribution from every team member. That was quite a discovery, but there were some exceptions. Google continued their research and discovered the one characteristic that, without exception, all the best performing teams had in common. They called it psychological safety and defined it as people feeling safe (and brave) enough to take risks without being afraid that they will be laughed at, or if they fail it will have negative consequences for their career. The second aspect of psychological safety is that people show their vulnerabilities in front of the other team members. They show not just their perfect, shiny side, as we sometimes do on social media, but also their vulnerable side. In hybrid teams, people are sometimes forced to work in the office for several days a week, whatever the policy of the company might be. There is also pressure on people who do not come into the office. Comments such as We miss having you here in the office or Were seeing more people in the office these days; it would be nice if you were around are not helpful. We therefore need to ensure that people can share their concerns about being in the office or not. These aspects need to be openly discussed and addressed by the team in order to reach high performance. The first five tips are about enabling psychological safety in hybrid teams. 1. Set the Scene as a Leader Have an open conversation with all team members and consider individual needs. Let people speak up and express their needs, but also consider the need to work together and to be successful as a team. 2. Lead the Way Kick off this discussion by sharing your individual needs and constraints. Lead the way by example. Some managers expect their people to behave in a way that creates psychological safety, to share their mistakes and concerns, but they as leaders do not do it themselves. So, share your challenges, your home situation, your considerations about when to come or not come to the office. If you open up and share your concerns and challenges, other team members will follow. 3. Take Baby Steps You will not fix this in one meeting. Acknowledge and praise people who share and ensure that sharing is not penalized. Take small steps and reward behaviors showing psychological safety. 4. Share Positive Examples Explain how the concerns and needs raised have been addressed successfully, and how transparency allowed the team to make the right decisions and enabled it to cater to the needs of the individual as well as the needs of the team. 5. Be a Watchdog It is very important to watch comments and vocabulary. Comments such as We want to see you more; we could really use you if youre around arent helpful. They put more pressure on team members, so try to reframe them in a positive way. It is your role as a leader to enable psychological safety. For example, you could say: We miss your ideas and insights, your thoughtful perspective. We would also like to understand your constraints, so let us know how we can help. 6. Visualize and Communicate in a Structured Way The higher up the ladder you go, the more people you have to update. There are great tools that can help to update the whole team or department about current projects and priorities. Visualize the content of the meeting using smart tech tools. Make sure everyone contributes often, and in parallel. This is the key discovery of the Google project if everyone feels safe to contribute their ideas, innovation emerges, and solutions start to take shape. FIVE 7. Smart Tools Mural, Conceptboard, Miro and Zoom Whiteboards Support participants to interact simultaneously with the virtual board. Visually consume information. Prioritize information separated by departments, each with a different color. Move the most important information towards the middle and the less important to the outside. Bonus Tip! Everyone Joins From Their Own Device Ensure everything is accessible to everyone, and that all team members have a device with which they can follow along; otherwise some people will be in the office staring at a big screen, unable to participate online, whilst people working remotely will be communicating differently, sitting in front of their devices. My recommendation is that everyone join the online meeting from their own device: equal for everyone. It is important that everyone can take part in the conversation, and that everything gets shared. If you have co-located people, make sure there are no side conversations in the office room. Any meetings longer than 15 minutes (the Harvard principle) need group interaction. Include reflective exercises, icebreakers and energizers to establish psychological safety. A good example is pick your cat. Show images with different cats in funny positions and ask the participants to select the one they like. Get people to feel. Its a quick and fun way to start conversations and get everyone on board. 8. Foster a Remote- First Culture Get your technology right. Use tools that allow you to work from anywhere and from any device, whether private or an office mobile phone. Centralize communication onto a specific platform so that important messages arent missed. Include a video link in all meeting invitations so that people can join if they are remote. 9. Trust Your Employees to Fulfill Expectations Trust that the work gets done. Many managers were afraid that people would binge-watch Netflix instead of working. As COVID has shown, this wasnt the case. People worked more not less. Switch to a results-based culture. Introduce smart goals. Measure the results using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Measure performance, not effort. If you trusted your team and they didnt get it done, give them feedback and support. Develop team members to help them attain their goals next time. 10. Regularly Offer and Solicit Feedback Ask for feedback for yourself. This is so crucial. Schedule a meeting once a month. Give and ask for feedback. How has it been going? Whats going well? What challenges do you see? How can I (as a leader) better support you? Listen to them. 11. Provide Opportunities for Social Connection Use instant message channels for friendly chatter, Netflix recommendations, and pet photos. Reserve time at the start of meetings for personal updates and small talk. Start a bit earlier. Ask for peoples highlights. Just a few minutes can be enough. Schedule remote-friendly team gatherings and activities such as virtual trivia contests, virtual happy hours and shared productivity playlists. Set up a standing videoconference channel where people can easily jump in and have lunch or coffee together if they want. Simulate the water cooler experience. Give team members space and encourage them to share and connect with each other, and praise them when they do so! Youll be amazed by what happens. 12. Infrastructure and Office Location Many companies have big spaces that do not get used completely. Google invested in futuristic offices and named them team pods, where they can wheel in the walls, chairs and whiteboards and create a space to work together. They also used an outdoor workspace you, too, can go outdoors and have a conversation or just sit in a chair and think. Look out for innovations in that field; Google uses balloon walls to get some privacy. Dos and Donts Do Set clear priorities and objectives for everyone. Be inclusive; everyone must be on board. Provide a space where people can share their thoughts and their work. Reflect on your biases and predispositions. Ask for feedback and provide feedback. Dont Dont be rigid; be flexible. Dont ignore signs of stress from your team be empathetic. Dont forget about fun. Look for ways to bring joy to work. I wish you success in leading your own hybrid teams in organizations! If you wish to learn and practice more, join Peters self-paced online masterclass, Leading Virtual and Hybrid Teams. the gravity of their team despite the geographical distance, age and cultural differences, whilst also delivering top business performance. Peter is also part of our Speaker Bureau. If you are interested in Peter training your Assistants or speaking at your event, either virtually or in person, please visit executivesupportmagazine.com/speaker-bureau. Peter Ivanov is a manager, entrepreneur and virtual teams expert with over 25 years of international experience. Peter recognized the growing importance of teams formed across multiple locations and has developed an innovative method for leading virtual teams. In 2007, a team led by Peter won the Best of the Best award for outstanding project management in establishing global shared services. As an expert in new leadership, Peter supports managers to retain SIX TECHNOLOGY W R IT ER M IC H EL LE B O W D IT C H Newsletter Tools for Internal Communication Michelle Bowditchs top tools to easily create engaging internal newsletters Businesses understand that audience engagement is key to ensuring their customers and target markets see and hear their brand. Most organisations would say that engaging with their staff is also essential for their business. Newsletters are a great way to boost morale and ensure you have an enthusiastic and motivated team. Suggested Inclusions Executive input A brief note from the CEO or one of the C-Suite executives increases the connection between management and the team. Celebrations Employee milestones, business wins or customer feedback. Professional development Educational content or links to industry networking events and training. Calendar Keep staff abreast of what is coming up in the business and any events that they may be interested in by including links to the company calendar. Consistency Keep it simple and easy to read whilst ensuring youre covering all the relevant areas. Be consistent: choose a regular date(s) that you will communicate to your team. Tools for Design Flodesk Flodesk is an email marketing provider with powerful automation, beautiful forms, and a simple interface. The design capabilities mean you can efficiently create striking, sleek newsletters or email marketing campaigns. Add your touch to their on- trend templates or build your design from scratch. You can load your logo and brand colours as well as include your images or access content from Unsplash. Their pricing structure is another reason to love them no increase in pricing the more subscribers you have, and tagging and segmenting is so easy theres no excuse not to do it! Canva Canva provides a user-friendly, creative tool at an affordable price. It is a desktop application and an app for your hand-held device. With both a free and paid version, it caters to all. Canva makes design easy with its suite of templates for newsletters, brochures, templates infographics, social media graphics and flyers (the list goes on). It has things like fun animation effects to make your designs pop. You can link external sources or documents, integrate your profile with other handy tech such as Typeform or embed your design into your website. This is an app for anyone who loves to create beautiful content for any occasion. Microsoft Sway Microsoft Sway is part of Office365 and is a simple tool that is easy to use to create visual content for your newsletter, presentations, or other company communications. Start from scratch or utilise one of their templates to create a design that speaks to your team. You can share your Microsoft Sway project with co- workers, which is handy for collaborating on content for your internal newsletters. You can easily add files from your One Drive account or turn Word/OneNote content into a dynamic presentation in a few simple clicks. Make communicating with your team a priority, whether at the company level or within your department. With a wealth of simple-to-use tools at your fingertips, creating engaging newsletters that speak to your team is easier than ever! that its not a one size fits all; its about having the right mindset and customising solutions, and she equips her clients with both! Michelle is also part of our Speaker Bureau. If you are interested in Michelle training your Assistants or speaking at your event, either virtually or in person, please visit executivesupportmagazine.com/speaker-bureau. Michelle Bowditch is the founder of Door20a, a tech consulting agency supporting women in business and EAs to accelerate their careers to the next level. Through strategic coaching, she helps professionals amplify their workplace presence, master influence, and road map their ambitions into existence. Michelles 3Cs (connection, collaboration and community) are the underpinning values that fuel her mission to educate people on the power of tech and explain PROFILE SEVEN FRAN LIELJE Fran Lielje is the Executive Assistant to Lucy Brazier, OBE and the Office Manager at Executive Support Media Can we start with a little background information? Where are you from and what do you do? I grew up in a very small town called Bad Oeynhausen in West Germany, which most people in Germany only recognize from the constant traffic jams along the motorway! I left my hometown in 2012 at the age of 13 to go to boarding school in the northeast of Germany, where I finished my A-Levels at the age of 17. The decision to go to university had already been made, so I applied at the International School of Management (ISM) in Hamburg to study Tourism and Event Management. During my studies, I had the opportunity to do an internship at the 5-star Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin and eventually ended up signing a contract with the hotel for a 3-year apprenticeship in hotel management, from which I graduated in 2016. I then moved on to a beautiful German Island called Sylt to get additional, seasonal experience in the hotel business and then decided to support my parents business for a year. That is where I had my first experience in a Management Assistant role. How did you become an Assistant? To gain more experience in the administrative field, I decided to accept a job offer to work as an Office Manager in Amman, Jordan in 2017 for six months, and thats when I realized how important the Assistant role is and that this was what I wanted to do going forward. After returning from the Middle East, I worked as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of an event location and gourmet restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany until COVID-19 hit in March 2020. I moved to Spain and met Lucy. I am currently working as her Office Manager and Executive Assistant here at Executive Support Media. What are the main challenges of your role? With Lucy being one of the leading authorities on the administrative profession, she is in great demand, and so the main challenge of my role is to prioritize her commitments and to determine how to best utilize her time so she can be the most efficient. Another thing is to make sure our communication is consistent, especially when she goes back to travelling the world. That way, the whole business has a clear direction, and the team can work efficiently and autonomously. What are you enjoying most about your role? What I love about working with Lucy is that I am constantly learning and growing and therefore the company is, too. Lucy and I work on an eye-to-eye level, which enables me to understand what the companys goals are and be an active part in reaching them. She involves me in all the major business plans and decisions so that I can make sure everyone in the business is informed about changes and upcoming challenges. Another bonus will of course be the travelling and being able to meet all these amazing EAs in person. I believe it will enable me to fully understand the work Lucy does for the profession. How do you find working with the new team, and being the go-between as well as managing Lucy? I believe we have managed to put together a real dream team. The people who work EIGHT PROFILE at Executive Support Media genuinely care about the company and its success, which creates a unique working atmosphere. The Office Manager & EA role go hand in hand because we can only be successful if Lucy and the team are at their best. To ensure that, the go-between is particularly important to be able to ensure everyones expectations are met. This is a challenge, and it can get overwhelming easily, which is why its so important to have processes and procedures in place, communicate efficiently and trust each other. Tell us the gossip! What is it really like to work at Executive Support Media? Thats a good question. Working at Executive Support Media is like being at a family gathering every day. We care deeply about each other, we support and help each other, but we also have disagreements and discussions, make mistakes, and sometimes just get it wrong like families do. But at the end of the day, we all have the same common goal, which is for everyone to be at their best and to create real change for the administrative profession. I believe we are doing a pretty good job at that so far. You are a graduate of the ACEA training program. Tell us about taking part in the online course. I am incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to do the ACEA course in 2021. It covers a wide range of subjects and gives useful tools and skills that I take advantage of every day. What I thought was the greatest learning outcome was the broader understanding of the importance of the Assistant role and how many opportunities there are to step up and take on more responsibility to lead your executive, and therefore your company, to success. You recently travelled with Lucy to an in-person Modern Day Assistant course. Can you tell us a bit about that? As I have got to know Lucy over the past 16 months, I have learned that the most important thing for her is to be able to interact with Assistants on a personal level. That enables her to listen and understand their day-to-day struggles and therefore tailor her courses to fit their needs. I realized early on in my role that I needed to get a better understanding of how teaching the full two-day Modern Day Assistant course impacts Lucys time, her energy, our communication and the overall work rhythm especially now, when the course is once again being held live in different cities around the world. Lucy invited me to London to experience just that, and I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in the Modern Day Assistant course. Personally, I found the course extremely well structured, informative, and also interactive. We began with understanding the history of the role and how it has been constantly evolving over the years. Throughout the course, Lucy focused on the opportunities that come with the role, especially now, with two years of being in a worldwide pandemic. She provided us with useful tools and resources to truly enable us to claim our seat at the table as equal business partners rather than in a pure support function. The course also includes some beautiful storytelling, which made it easy for us to take the information and transform it into an action plan. I could really see how passionate Lucy is about supporting EAs to be the best they can possibly be, and I hope to stay in touch with the other EAs who joined us in London! Why do you think the role of the Assistant is a valuable one? After working for several different companies in different sectors, I have learned that Assistants are often taken advantage of and sadly only seen as the person you call when you want to get through to someone else not realizing that the Assistant is the one who manages their executives time and therefore is the one they should really be talking to! An Assistant is the glue that holds the business and its departments together and enables the executives to do what they are being paid to do. They are the employees who truly know what the challenges are throughout the entire business, and their job is to make sure everyone is working as efficiently as they can. There is no better person in a business to do that. What advice would you give someone starting out as an Assistant? My advice to someone starting out as an Assistant would be: Try to be as close as possible to your executive to understand how they work, how they would like to be communicated with, what their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are and therefore what their priorities are. Make sure you understand the core business ideas and values and gain as much knowledge about the business as you can. Always keep your skillset up to date and make sure you ask for training whenever you feel like you have some gaps,