ERIC Number: ED243208
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-24
Reference Count: 0
American High School: Characteristics of Organization and Culture and Their Impact on the Exercise of Leadership by the Principal.
Owens, Robert G.
This report is drawn from an ethnographic study still in progress of the principalship of a comprehensive public senior high school in a suburban community. Following a discussion of the paucity of research offering good descriptions of what principals actually do as opposed to what they should do, the study methodology is outlined, including criteria for school and principal selection and procedures for data collection and data analysis. Next, in the section on the study's findings, the school where the study is being conducted and the dominant concerns of the principal are described. After characterizing the school and its principal as seen by the community generally, a description of the principal's daily activities, based on extensive observation, are offered. The next two sections discuss how the principal ensures a high level of control and coordination both directly and indirectly, using self-created mechanisms of control together with other control mechanisms dictated by outside authorities. Concluding with a discussion of contemporary organizational theory, the paper argues that the senior high school in question is not well described as either anarchic or "loosely coupled," but rather should be seen as a complex hierarchical system. (JBM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).