ERIC Number: ED271870
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Representing Organization Theory with a Human Face: The Search for a Human and Humane Understanding of Administration.
Greenfield, Thomas B.
The study of educational administration should continue its trend toward a qualitative interpretation of reality and abandon the positivistic, scientific approach of the last 25 years. Herbert Simon's work in 1945 set the field upon the path of accepting the assumptions of positivistic thought as the limits of scientific inquiry in administration, thereby obliterating values as an appropriate aspect. Simon's value-free approach appeared in 1957 in a form called the "New Movement," an ideology of scientific administration promulgated by Halpin and other theorists. The flaw was creation of a science that is powerless in the face of the conflicts and ethical dilemmas that suffuse curriculum and administration. If it is argued that science cannot comprehend values, then the study of administration must be conceived of, in the words of Hodgkinson, as a kind of humanism whose purpose is the civilization of power. A research agenda of the emerging science would question fundamental truths that motivate the actors of administration. Toulmin's (1938) observation that the progress of modern science and the transformation of the scientist from an observer of reality to a participant in its construction is now applicable to the attitudes of the administrative scientist. (CJH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented to the Symposium, "Re-Establishing Values in Organization and Administration Theory" at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986). Published under the title, "The Decline and Fall of Science in Educational Administration," Interchange, v17 n2 1986.