ERIC Number: ED251914
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Schools and the Neo-Rationalist Model of Organizations. A Report from the SIAu, SABO and PeO Projects. Uppsala Reports on Education 17.
Educational organizations, this paper asserts, are best described using a neorationalist model, which analyzes organizations as social instruments, acknowledges structural conflict, and views individuals as active participants. The paper examines traditional and modern rationalist organization theories and contrasts these with systems theory; it then applied the neorationalist model to schools, and specifically to Swedish public schools. The bulk of the paper discusses organization theory as follows. First, rationalism and systems theory are briefly compared in their traditional and modern forms. Second, traditional rationalism is explored in greater depth with reference to several of its leading theorists, notably German sociologist Max Weber; the "goals-means hierarchy" is briefly explained; and the basic assumptions of traditional rationalist models are discussed. Third, a neorationalist model formulated by the Swedish sociologist Bengt Abrahamsson is described; concerns discussed include the relationship between organizations and society and that between organizations' mandated goals organizations' mandated goals and the real activities. Fourth, the two rationalist approaches are compared. The remainder of the paper discusses analyzing schools using a neorationalist model. Subtopics include the correspondence between organizational models and school characteristics; the applicability of the neorationalist model to schools and appropriate descriptive concepts; and finally, types of institutional control and the control structure of the Swedish school system. (MCG)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Bureaucracy, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Institutional Role, Models, Organizational Theories, Power Structure, School Organization, Systems Approach
Publications, Department of Education, Uppsala University, Box 2109, S-750 02 Uppsala, Sweden.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Translations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Uppsala Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Education.
Identifiers: Conflict Theory; Consensus Models; Neorationalism; Rationalism; Sweden; Weber (Max)