ERIC Number: ED243178
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
Old Wine in New Bottles: The Quality of Work Life in Schools and School Districts.
Bacharach, Samuel B.; Mitchell, Stephen M.
This essay reviews quality of work life as a management technique and argues that quality-of-work-life programs, conceptualized multidimensionally, offer a unique mechanism for improving working conditions in schools and within districts. A brief analysis of major management ideologies concludes that some techniques advocated under the label of quality of work life share the limitations of earlier theories, such as failing to consider a positive image of the worker as active and knowledgeable. Three quality-of-work-life themes--control, participation, and cooptation--are significant in school districts. Involving a reconceptualization of the fundamental elements of an organization, major aspects of a holistic approach to quality of work life are the integration of levels of analysis, the reduction of structure to action, the linkage of perception to behavior, and the interdependence and integration of actors in the organization. Broadly conceived, quality-of-work-life programs involve a process of diagnosis based on empirical data, intervention tailored to the specific needs of the organization, and evaluation. For further development of quality-of-work-life programs, issues including communication, supervision, role conflict, intergroup relations, physical work environment, participation, compensation, and career development should be considered in relation to various consequences of work itself, such as stress or job satisfaction. (MJL)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Educational Administration, Elementary Secondary Education, Job Satisfaction, Labor Relations, Organizational Climate, Organizational Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Organizational Theories, Productivity, Public Schools, School Administration, School Districts, School Personnel, Teaching Conditions, Work Environment
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Administrators; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Ithaca. School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell Univ.