Needs and conditions of Employees

Principals feel
disempowered; they are
relegated to managing
the superintendent’s
decisions
Principals either cannot
or will not make
important decisions;
the superintendent is
more knowledgeable and
skillful than principals
Needs and conditions
vary among schools;
principals can and will
make ·effective decisions
based on the needs
and conditionsin their
schools
Principal performance is
elevated by competition;
high-level performers
should be rewarded
Collaboration produces
synergy; system
performance is more
important than individual
performance
District administrators
and principals function
as team
Collaboration
Principals are encouraged
to compete with each
other
Competition
Decentralization Authority is dispersed
among district-level
administra tors-and
principals
Authority is concentrated:
the superintendent
(or designees in larger
districts) makes all
consequential decisions
Centralization
Examples ojunderlying
.assumptions
Strategy_ Description Examples ojeffects
Table 4.1 Examples of Administrative Strategies Applied by School Districts
The administrative style of.principals is commonly discussed in terms of supervision
and approaches -to influencing behavior. Prom a supervisory perspective, the following
typology developed by Lewin, Lippitt, and White (1939) describes three distinct styles
and it remains prevalent in-the-literature:
..
Style andInfluencingllthers
determined by the superintendent and in schools it is determined by the principal. The
tactics deployed are characteristic of personal philosophical dispositions and shared
assumptions embedded in a.district OT ~chool culture. The two most cornmon strategies
applied in education involve the distribution of authority (centralization versus
decentralization) and employee relations (competition versus collaboration). Table 4.1
provides details regarding these strategies.
Administrative style, by comparison, involves individual behavier, ..and in the
literature, it typically is ·called leadership -style, Style has been defined a-s. an action
disposition, or pattern of behaviors, displayed by an administrator (Irrrmegart, 1988)~it
describes the wayan administrator usually hand-leswork responsibilities, such as human
relations, supervision, and power shari-ng (Bassett, 1970). Style is especially re-levant to
understanding how a principal provides direction, implements .plans, and .motivates
o

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