ERIC Number: ED381877
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
The Applicability of Market-Based Solutions to Public Sector Problems.
This paper examines the ways in which private- and public-sector location affects organizational structure and functions, and the implications for school reform. It identifies the differences that are often overlooked when policymakers utilize market-based organizational reform models to address public school problems. Two fundamental questions are asked: How useful are market-based models in addressing public-sector organizational problems?; and What organizational characteristics are central to the successful implementation of market-based organizational reform efforts? The paper first discusses two theoretical perspectives--organizational ecology and resource dependency--to explore the specific organizational features likely to result from market and public-sector contexts. The next part examines two current market-based educational reform models--school choice and school-based management. The analysis suggests that market-based models are potentially useful for addressing public-sector organizational problems. However, the models should be applied with care, recognizing the underlying conditions present in the private sector that may or may not be present in public schools. The public educational system is constrained by: (1) the lack of an educational "market"; (2) the weak link between school performance and funding; (3) operating procedures and organization that are structured to manage existing environmental resource dependencies; (4) a locus of control that stresses strict control over inputs rather than outcomes; and (5) diverse organizational goals. Two tables are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.; Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Madison, WI. Finance Center.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Research Conference of the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (Chicago, IL, October 17-19, 1994).