ERIC Number: ED218766
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar-22
Reference Count: 0
The Principal's Role in Organizational Goal-Attainment: Discretionary Management at the School Site Level.
Crowson, Robert L.; Morris, Van Cleve
Drawing on previous research by themselves and others, the authors argue, first, that despite findings that principals spend little time in instructional leadership activities, principals are more deeply engaged in organizational goal attainment than has been believed; and, second, that despite findings that communications between principals and central administrative offices are minimal, the organization is more tightly coupled than has been thought. The reason for this paradoxical situation is that the professed goals of the educational system--the development of a curriculum and the provision of instruction in that curriculum--are not in fact the operative goals of the system. These operative goals, described at some length with examples from the authors' previous research, are managing environmental uncertainty, maintaining an organizational mythology, and rewarding the organization's employees. Many informal control mechanisms, such as principal selection procedures, group norms, traditions, and expectations, have been internalized by the management hierarchy and serve to tighten the coupling of bureaucratic elements despite lack of communication along the formal chain of command. The authors conclude that, textbook job descriptions notwithstanding, it is the principal who achieves the system's operative goals who is considered successful and makes professional gains. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: System Coupling
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).