NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ801617
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0957-8234
Working against Ourselves: Decision Making in a Small Rural School District
Patterson, Jean A.; Koenigs, Andrew; Mohn, Gordon; Rasmussen, Cheryl
Journal of Educational Administration, v44 n2 p142-158 2006
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine decision making and resource allocation in a small, rural district in a Midwestern state of the USA during a time of economic retrenchment. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative case study methods were used, including focus groups and personal interviews with current and former district administrators, Board of Education members, teachers, parents, and other members of the communities the district serves. Organizational archetypes were used as an analytic framework to reveal the deeper cultural values and preferences influencing board and superintendent decisions. Findings: Underlying historical patterns of decision making were found that were not aligned with constituents' preferences. District leaders refused to consider information that did not fit with their own beliefs and a crisis of leadership occurred, which resulted in the ousting of the superintendent and a majority of school board members. These patterns of decision making furthermore advantaged one group of constituents and disadvantaged another. Originality/value: This study illustrates the potential of archetypes as an analytic framework for understanding organizational decision making. Revealing tacit patterns of decision making can help organizations recognize and change patterns that are dysfunctional and have negative outcomes.
Emerald. 875 Massachusetts Avenue 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139. Tel: 888-622-0075; Fax: 617-354-6875; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A