ERIC Number: ED379748
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
On Principals and the Enacting of External Environments.
Johnson, Bob L., Jr.
This paper presents findings of a study that explored how principals "enacted" and "structured" the environments of their schools. Weick's theoretical framework is used to understand the cognitive process by which managers selectively construct and attend to certain features of their environment while ignoring others. Data were obtained from interviews with 10 successful Utah principals, utilizing the Critical Incidents Technique. Findings indicate that, overall, the principals were dependent on the environment for needed resources and legitimacy. The flow of these resources varied by intensity and time; this created uncertainty and contributed to principals' vulnerability to their environments. The principals attended to those environmental stimuli that they perceived as critical to their survival and success. They also varied in their ability to strategically construct and map the environment, and in the degree to which their environmental focus was driven by personal or organizational concerns. The principals felt the need to conform to the demands of both the technical and institutional aspects of the environment. Six tables, one figure, and sample interview questions are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration (Philadelphia, PA, October 28-30, 1994). Tables 5 and 6 contain small type.