ERIC Number: ED325980
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Jan
Passages New Superintendents Experience in Taking Charge.
Giles, Douglas E.; Giles, Sharon
When some new superintendents assume a new position, they get along with their boards and staff, learn the ropes, and eventually gain credibility and "own" their precarious perch on the wall. Others, like Humpty Dumpty, crash off the wall, never to regain control of the position. Certain factors account for success: experience; clear understanding of board expectations; board support; good interpersonal relationship skills; and completion of five passages in the taking-charge process. The five passages in this 2- or 3-year process are: taking hold, immersion, reshaping, consolidation, and refinement. The first passage, lasting 3 to 6 months, is a period of intense action and learning that sets the tone for the taking charge process. Successful superintendents orient themselves, evaluate the situation, and develop cognitive maps. During the immersion passage, superintendents run the organization in a more informed fashion and steep themselves in a less hectic learning process. During reshaping, superintendents reconfigure central office departments or school programs to implement the vision developed in the immersion passage. During the consolidation phase, focus is on implementing and evaluating changes made during reshaping and on resolving unanticipated problems. By the refinement stage, a period of little organizational change, superintendents are no longer considered new and should have established credibility and a power base. Humpty and the board must tread carefully and be vigilant to maintain the balance to assure long-term tenure. (MLH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Workshop for New Superintendents at the Annual Superintendents' Conference of the Association of California School Administrators (Monterey, CA, January 1989).