Although there are many textbooks in the field of educational administration describing various organizational theories, this text is unique in tying organizational theory explicitly and systematically to a well-formulated problem- analysis methodology. It provides particular examples of bureaucratic, political, and leadership theories as well as descriptions of two broader theoretical frameworks: Burrell and Morgan's conceptual matrix and systems thinking.
Special features include:
* a fully developed methodology for describing and documenting problems in schools;
* a systematic method for using different theoretical perspectives to analyze the causes of problems in schools;
* carefully formulated questions illustrating how different theoretical frameworks lead policy analysts to look at problems differently and to focus on different types and sources of information concerning their possible causes;
* substantial sample papers illustrating the methodology; and
* a range of illustrative organizational theories, amply described and succinctly grounded intellectually.
This book is directed toward students in organizational theory and problem analysis classes and their professors, as well as to school administrators seeking to examine their problems and policies from perspectives that go beyond personal experience.
"…the author has effectively demonstrated how values serve to shape problems and how politics serve to shape the acceptance or rejection of their proposed solutions. Collectively, these attributes contribute to the book's utility as a resource for practitioners and as a supplemental text for courses in school administration….many administrators could benefit from reading this book."
Contents: Preface. Part I: Methodology. Conceptual Framework and Overview. Describing and Documenting Problems, Stakeholders, and Decision Makers. Analyzing the Causes of a Problem. Developing a Solution Strategy and Recommendations to Stakeholders. Part II: Theory Sketches. Bureaucratic Theory. Social Systems Theory. Political Systems Theory. Leadership Theory. Burrell and Morgan's Meta-Framework. Systems Thinking: Modeling Problem Systems. Conclusion: Problem Analysis as a Hermeneutic Process.
Part III: Case Examples. A. Scheier, School to Work: An Analysis of Vocational Education as Provided by Greater Stanton Technical School. J.R. Dolan, The Implementation of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 at the New England School for Special Students. A. Bernstein, Analysis of an Organizational Decision: The Placement Process for the Honors Track at Brandywine Regional High School. J.J. Pavese, Analysis of an Organizational Decision: The Placement Process of the Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities. References. Suggested Readings.