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Development Of Administrative Theory

Development of Administrative Theory

Introduction to Educational Administration is designed to provide students with an overview of some of the many topics pertaining to school administration. This course contains many of the subjects and topics taught in other administrative courses that students will take in completing administrative certification: curriculum, school law, school finance, personnel management, and organizational theory. The purpose of the course is to provide students with an introduction to the many facets of administration and to prepare students for the additional knowledge that they will gain from other administrative courses.

Students will notice that many of the topics first addressed in a chapter often appear in subsequent chapters. This is because it is difficult, if not impossible, to isolate a particular theory in administration from other topics relating to that field.

Lesson Objectives:

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and briefly discuss the two major theories associated with the administration of an organization.
  2. Become familiar with many of the aspects of leadership, including some of the more common types of administrative models that attempt to measure leadership potential.
  3. Identify at least 3 leaders in management theory, and briefly describe each theory.
  4. Correctly identify 4 examples of management tasks and 4 leadership tasks of a school administrator, after reflecting on management and leadership.

Our text suggests that almost every action that an administrator or educational makes rests on a theory. Educational administration is one area of education that abounds with theories. For the past three decades, schools have attempted to examine and mirror many of the basic management principles found in business and industry. The 1982 book In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best Run Companies (Peters & Waterman), which was written basically for business and industry, was a regular text in many school administration courses. Numerous other works dealing with both education and business management are introduced and mentioned in this course. This chapter examines the many different theories directly affecting educational institutions and their administrators.

The scientific management theory, which was developed by Frederick Taylor at the beginning of the 20th century, focused on the improvement of a worker’s performance based on sound scientific principles. Our summarizes Taylor’s principles into:

  1. scientific job analysis
  2. selection of personnel
  3. management cooperation, and
  4. functional supervising

Taylor’s scientific management theory fits nicely into today’s educational framework. His theory provides for a clear delineation of authority, responsibility, separation of planning from operations, incentive schemes for workers to improve their production, and task specialization.

Henry Fayol, a French industrialist, developed the theory known as administrative management. According to Fayol, a manager’s duties center on planning, organizing, commanding, and coordinating activities, and controlling performance. Fayol developed 14 principles of management: specialization of labor (also known as division of work, authority, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination of individual interests, remuneration, centralization, scalar chain, order, equity, personnel tenure, initiative, and esprit de corps). Fayol’s view on management appears to be somewhat authoritarian in nature and completely management centered.

The Hawthorne Studies resulted in what is sometimes called the Hawthorne Effect. Three separate studies or experiments were done at the General Electric plant in New York during the 1920s, centering on how to increase the productivity of workers. Researchers were surprised at their results and finally postulated the theory that working conditions are not as important to a worker as is the idea regarding his/her worth to the institution. Because of these studies, management began to focus much more on the social conditions of a job, including the concept of the relationship between a worker and the organization.

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