ERIC Number: ED207164
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Problems of Complex Systems: A Model of System Problem Solving Applied to Schools.
Cooke, Robert A.; Rousseau, Denise M.
Research of 25 Michigan elementary and secondary public schools is used to test a model relating organizations' problem-solving adequacy to their available inputs or resources and to the appropriateness of their structures. Problems that all organizations must solve, to avoid disorganization or entropy, include (1) getting inputs and producing outputs, (2) controlling inputs and outputs, (3) coordinating subsystems and allocating resources, (4) adapting to the environment, and (5) preserving the organization. The 25 schools' ability to solve these five problems was correlated with their inputs (expenditures per pupil), outputs (teacher job satisfaction and student scores on standardized tests), and structural characteristics (participative decision-making, vertical communication, and high performance norms). Data was provided by the schools and, through interviews and questionnaires, by a sample of 200 of the schools' teachers. Results indicate positive relationships among the schools' expenditures, their problem-solving adequacy, and those structural variables involving communication and performance norms. Problem-solving ability was in turn positively related to student achievement and teacher job satisfaction. (RW)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Educational Resources, Elementary Secondary Education, Expenditure per Student, Group Structure, Input Output Analysis, Job Performance, Job Satisfaction, Organizational Communication, Organizational Theories, Participative Decision Making, Problem Solving, School Organization
Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, CERAS Bldg., Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (Pub. Code 81-B5; $1.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.