ERIC Number: ED228691
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jan
Reference Count: 0
The Turbulent Field of Public School Administration.
Conners, Dennis A.; Reed, Donald B.
Executive Review, v3 n4 Jan 1983
Business and industry have exerted a strong influence on public schools and school administration, especially on assumptions about the school setting and its implications for administrator behavior. Schools have been assumed to be bureaucratic organizations in a stable environment, which implies that administrators should be leaders in establishing goals as well as maintainers and controllers in attaining those goals. However, if the school is assumed to exist in a turbulent "field" or environment--one with complex interdependencies and which is always changing--then school stability cannot be maintained by traditional bureaucratic mechanisms, but rather by developing overriding social values and a matrix of organizational alliances. In the past 60 years schools have in fact existed in a turbulent environment and have become richly connected with many other organizations, both formally and informally. In a turbulent environment, the administrative qualities implied for an organization are those of a preacher, diplomat, and statesman, and school administrators do indeed behave more according to these roles than according to the roles of leaders, maintainers, and controllers. (RW)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Iowa Univ., Iowa City. Inst. for School Executives.