Analyzing Problems in Schools and School Systems: A Theoretical Approach

By Alan Kibbe Gaynor | Go to book overview

PART III
CASE EXAMPLES

In the following sections are two pairs of examples of the analysis types described and illustrated in this book. In one pair you find first an organizational problem in a school environment detailed and documented. Then each author identifies a set of stakeholders who are aware of the problem and want to do something about it. Finally, the author proposes recommendations tailored to these stakeholders that address the causes uncovered analytically.

In the other pair of examples each author presents a significant organizational decision for analysis, describing the nature of the decision, the kinds of information used to make it, the sources of this information, the people involved in making the decision, and the decisional process. The author then critiques the decision (Is this the kind of decision the organization should be making at all?) and the various aspects of the decisional process (Is this how the decision should be made?) using criteria represented in the normative assumptions of each of Burrell and Morgan's four paradigms: functionalist, interpretivist, radical humanist, and radical structuralist. Finally, the author analyzes the feasibility for the organization of action recommendations corresponding to the these diverse critiques.

The problem analysis chapters were prepared in an advanced policy seminar and were then revised and submitted as doctoral comprehensive examination papers. The decisional critiques were written as papers in a course in organizational analysis. Although the chapters have been reformatted to match the editorial style of the book, they are substantially unchanged from when they were submitted as class papers.

Students have consistently found sample papers very helpful in understanding the processes of problem description and causal analysis. I hope you find these chapters useful in the same way.

-135-

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