ERIC Number: ED206077
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Power and the Educational Administrator: Bureaucracy, Loose Coupling or Cultural Negotiation?
Dominant theories of educational administration have viewed the field as a rational and technical science concerned with the bureaucratic control of education. These theories have recently come under attack for ideological and empirical reasons. More current theories characterize educational administration as less rational objective, and structured and emphasize the "loose coupling" of the units or events within education and the tighter coupling of education as a whole with the external environment. The theory of loose coupling can be taken a step further to the "cultural coupling" theory maintaining that educational organizations, although they may have tight internal coupling, respond not to technical or rational demands but to the external demands of the surrounding culture. This theory of cultural coupling refers to the employment of myths, metaphors, and ceremonial categories as processes of coupling among educational organizations and between these institutions and their environments. This view of educational administration sees administrators as negotiating cultural claims and legitimizing them within the school. This model may help reconcile the long-standing divergence of administrative theory from practice. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Loose Coupling Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).