ERIC Number: ED263660
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr-3
Reference Count: N/A
The Decisions of Elementary School Principals: A Test of Ideal Type Methodology.
Greer, John T.
Interviews with 25 Georgia elementary school principals provided data that could be used to test an application of Max Weber's ideal type methodology to decision-making. Alfred Schuetz's model of the rational act, based on one of Weber's ideal types, was analyzed and translated into describable acts and behaviors. Interview procedures were designed to reveal these behaviors, and methods were devised for leading the interview data into a matrix for assessment. Sixty-one "unique" decisions, defined as those made without direct precedent and on the decision-maker's own initiative, were found suitable for analysis among those described by the principals. These decisions fell into seven categories: instruction (direct role), instruction (indirect role), students, community and parents, management, finance and budgeting, and safety and maintenance. Of the decisions, 18 percent showed rationality of knowledge but not of choice, 28 percent showed rationality of choice only, 20 percent exhibited both types of rationality, and 38 percent exhibited neither. Three of these groups of decision types could be related to Weber's, but the fourth (those reflecting rational knowledge but not choice) suggested that an additional ideal type should be defined. Brief comments concerning methodological problems conclude the paper. (PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia