ERIC Number: ED163655
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Schools: Bureaucracies, Flexible Systems, Anarchies or What? A Consideration of Alternative Image Production in Educational Administration.
Allison, Derek J.
The workings of schools have not received the attention due them in the study of educational administration. We need to generate new "images" or models of school organization that are more congruent with reality. These models need to be refined through expression and discussion and selected and changed through scientific methodology. Although this idea is nothing new, it has been given little attention. In the past, instead of generating theories by observing schools, we have borrowed inappropriate models from administrative science and organizational theory. Popular models of school organization like Weber's ideal bureaucracy are of questionable validity. We need to formulate new models by focusing on how schools are different from other organizations. They are human service organizations that do not have to attract clients, must deal with children, and have members that are unusually autonomous, among other differences. Several recent theories of school organization are worthy of consideration. The "garbage can" theory or organized anarchy theory holds that because schools have unclear goals, changing membership, and indeterminate technology, unpredictable activity and anarchy are the characteristic state of affairs. The theory of flexible systems holds that schools are made up of many elements that couple and uncouple. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Garbage Can Theory; Theory of Flexible Systems
Note: Paper presented to the Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration; Page 3 may be marginally legible