ERIC Number: ED306663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Management of Meaning and the Achievement of Organizational Legitimacy: A Critical Ethnography of the Principalship.
Anderson, Gary L.
Using ethnographic research tools, this study explored the role that the symbolic action of administrators played in the the social construction of reality. Case study data were provided to illustrate meaning management at the school district level. Framing this analysis is the application of the categories of critical theory to the study of educational organizations. Critical theory of organizations involves the three tasks of understanding, critique, and praxis. For the purpose of discussing how meaning was managed, data were gathered from 66 interviews; 28 school board, principal, and central office meeting observations; and the analyses of 30 documents. The goal of the study was to obtain perceptions of selected critical events in order to define the elementary reading program in Fairlawn, an affluent suburban school district. What emerged from the study is that program legitimacy is a scarce resource. It must constantly be won and defined by administrators who are aware of the school's sociocultural constructions, which include its language, rituals, and myths. (JAM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).