ERIC Number: ED333531
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Organizational Responses to External Demands: Strategies Employed by Superintendents in Developing and Implementing State Mandated Improvement Plans.
Wills, Frances G.
Strategies utilized by district superintendents to implement school improvement plans in response to state-mandated change are examined in this report. Methodology involved document analysis of written plans and interviews with 30 Maine superintendents and assistant superintendents who were identified as successful developers of school improvement plans in large, midsize, and small districts. Findings indicate that the ways in which managers interpret and analyze the environment affect strategic outcomes and that responses are reshaped by unique contexts characterized by uncertainty. Although district size influenced superintendents' strategies, the ways in which they coped with perceived uncertainties had greater impact on program effectiveness. Based on the Daft and Weick (1984) model, the superintendents can be characterized overall as "prospectors," preferring external and personal sources of information, active engagement, and relying upon an incremental trial and error decision-making process. They managed uncertainty by synchronizing their strategic behaviors with the unpredictable nature of their environment, and the most effective emphasized process over outcome. Two figures are included. (29 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).