ERIC Number: ED243176
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
The Generation of Practical Theory: Schools as Political Institutions.
Bacharach, Samuel B.; Mitchell, Stephen M.
After criticising the prevalent assumption of organizational theory that organizational behavior is based on common typological forms, this paper proposes a political analysis of schools as organizations as a practical theory general enough to be useful to practitioners. The first section reviews the basic elements of comparative structural analysis and demonstrates how these elements both inform and limit the study of school districts as organizations. The alternative "loosely coupled systems" approach is considered, and a political organizational framework for the study of schools is endorsed. The second section outlines the elements of a political analysis of school districts as organizations, identifying key actors in schools, specifying linkages between actors, and delineating the types of strategies and tactics used to advance various actors' interests. The final section discusses the implications of a political perspective for educational practitioners, particularly those involved in organizational design, offering examples of design alternatives that would assist in the achievement of consensus. (Author/MJL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Ithaca. School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell Univ.
Identifiers: Coalitions; Consensus; Loosely Coupled Systems; Organizational Behavior; Political Analysis
Note: In: Consensus and Power in School Organizations. Final Report (EA 016 651).