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ERIC Number: EJ855590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1750-8487
Teacher's PAT? Multiple-Role Principal-Agent Theory, Education Politics, and Bureaucrat Power
Vanhuysse, Pieter; Sulitzeanu-Kenan, Raanan
Critical Studies in Education, v50 n2 p129-144 Jun 2009
This article aims to contribute to current debates about political power and agency relationships in education and other public sectors. In a recent clarion call for a major redirection of political principal-agent theories (PAT), Terry Moe has argued that standard information asymmetries ought no longer to be regarded as the sole foundation of bureaucrat power. According to Moe, current theories largely overlook the direct "electoral power of agents" and their unions (EPA) in voting for their own bureaucratic principals. Therefore, they are biased systematically towards "under"estimating agent power. We critically address both Moe's theoretical arguments, and his empirical applications to Californian school board elections. We conclude that Moe overestimates the power consequences of EPA on both counts. We outline a more balanced version of "multiple-role" PAT and of its potential implications for our understanding of the political power of public school teachers and bureaucrats more generally. (Contains 1 figure and 12 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California