ERIC Number: ED375467
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-May
Reference Count: N/A
Rational or Anarchic: The Dilemma of Choosing a Model Describing Administrative Decision Making Behaviour.
Kefford, Roderic E.
One of the most persistent dilemmas faced by practicing educational administrators is choosing an appropriate model for decision making. This paper presents findings of a study that investigated the appropriateness of Cohen, March, and Olsen's (1972) Garbage Can Model of decision making. The case study examined the decision-making behavior of the Council of Wesley College, Perth, the governing body of an Australian private school. Data were collected through participant observation of Council meetings for 1 year, the content analysis of the meetings' minutes, and interviews with the members of the governing body. Findings indicate that the Garbage Can Model provided a suitable framework for observing and describing the council's decision-making behavior. The decision-making process was unclear and fluid, and resolution was the most frequently adopted decision style. However, about one-fourth of the decisions were made by flight or oversight. The adoption of flight or oversight decision styles reflected a desire for more information and discussion, after which resolution was achieved. The Council left few problems unresolved, but took a relatively long time to make decisions. Both the Council chairman and the principal influenced the decision-making process; however, other individual members with valued expertise also had an impact. Representatives of interest groups did not exert significant influence. (Contains 164 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia