ERIC Number: ED244364
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr-24
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Administrator Communication Networks in a Public School District under Conditions of Contraction.
Smith, Wilma F.; And Others
By means of communication network analysis and individual interviews conducted between September 1982 and March 1983 with district administrators in a single medium-sized school district, this study describes the consequences of the 1975 decentralization of the district's communication network. Following a brief introduction and a discussion of the study's theoretical framework--which follows Weick's (1982) claim that school districts are open, internally loosely-coupled systems--the study's method of network analysis is described, including the use of the NEGOPY computer network program. used to analyze communications patterns from respondent data. The next section, which briefly explains the "NEGOPY Network Survey" from which noninterview data were gathered from 97 administrators is followed by a detailed discussion of the study's results. The latter discussion synthesizes responses made by 51 of the 97 administrators to the study's six interview questions. These questions concerned the effectiveness of the formal communication network with regard to decision-making and innovations information, including a summary question about ways to improve communication. Findings of the study suggest that decentralization of a school district's communication network may adversely affect communication between departments and schools, especially during periods of retrenchment. (JBM)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Case Studies, Communication Problems, Communication Research, Decentralization, Elementary Secondary Education, Information Dissemination, Information Networks, Information Theory, Intergroup Relations, Interviews, Network Analysis, Organizational Communication, Organizational Theories, Retrenchment, School Districts, Surveys
Publication Type: 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).