ERIC Number: ED222975
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Technocracy or Politics? Conflict Management Behavior in Public Managerial Professions.
A study of the conflict management behavior of 103 school superintendents and city managers in two major metropolitan areas revealed that the superintendents were more professionalized than the city managers but, when dealing with the public, were less likely to use the analytic-technocratic conflict management methods typically associated with professionals. City managers tended to use these methods both when resolving intraorganizational conflict and when resolving issues involving the public, while superintendents managing public-oriented conflict tended to deviate from their professional opinions and engage in the bargaining, lobbying, and compromising behavior typical of the political-bargaining approach. Data for the study were gathered using interviews and questionnaires, and were subjected to log-linear analysis for the purpose of constructing a model of conflict management behavior. Two school closing cases are isolated and described as prototypical examples of the two identified approaches to public-related conflict management. In addition to the results noted above, the study found that, unlike city managers, superintendents were more likely to confront intraorganizational conflict than public-related conflict. The researchers suggest that superintendents' reliance on political-bargaining methods may be forced by the more ideologically-rooted nature of the public issues they do face. (Author/PGD)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, City Officials, Conflict Resolution, Leadership Styles, Professional Occupations, Public Administration, Public Relations, School Closing, Superintendents, Tables (Data)
Publications, Center for Educational Policy and Management, College of Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Oregon Univ., Eugene. Center for Educational Policy and Management.
Identifiers: City Managers; Professional Behavior; Professionalism