Week 7 Assignment Social Networking Communication

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Week 7 - Assignment: Social Networking

After reading, Hoy, Chapters 9-10, please go to a social networking site of your choice (examples: Ning.com; Twitter.com; Facebook.com; or Linkedin.com) and select a Social Network you believe would assist you in facilitating shared decision-making and communicating in your work via an online networking tool. For this assignment write a paper to address the following:

  1. Outline how you would envision this tool assisting your organization to communicate and facilitate shared decision-making.
  2. Include in your paper how you would evaluate the effectiveness of on-line communication within an organization.

Length: 5-7 pages, including 3-5 resources.

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic.

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CHAPTER 10 A DECISION MAKING IN SCHOOLS The task of “deciding” pervades the entire administrative organization. . . . A general theory of administration must include principles of organization that will insure correct decision making, just as it must include principles that will insure effective action. Herbert A. Simon Administrative Behavior PREVIEW 1. Administrative decision making is a dynamic process that solves some organizational problems and, in the process, often creates others. 2. Decision making is a general pattern of action found in the rational administration of all functional and task areas in organizations. 3. Values are an integral part of decision making. 4. The classical decision-making model uses a strategy of optimizing to maximize the achievement of goals, but the model is an ideal rather than an actual description of practice. 5. Satisficing is a pragmatic decisionmaking strategy that some administrators use to solve the problems of practice. 7. An adaptive strategy of deciding unites the rationalism and comprehensiveness of satisficing with the flexibility and utility of the incremental model. 8. Like most complex processes, however, there is no single best way to decide; the best approach is the one that best fits the circumstances. Thus a contingency approach is proposed. 9. Not all organizational decisions are rational; the garbage can model helps explain nonrational decision making. 10. Irrationality in decision making is often produced by stress; the Janis-Mann conflict model describes the pitfalls of defective decision making. 6. Most administrators probably use an incremental model of deciding; they muddle through. 329 02/09/2019 - RS0000000000000000000000468987 - Educational Administration: Theory, 2/24/12 5:38 PM Research, and Practice hoy24528_ch10_329-358.indd 329 330 Educational Administration D ecision making is a major responsibility of all administrators, but until decisions are converted into action they are only good intentions. Deciding is a sine qua non of educational administration because the school, like all formal organizations, is basically a decision-making structure. Our analysis begins with an examination of classical decision making. THE CLASSICAL MODEL: AN OPTIMIZING STRATEGY Classical decision theory assumes that decisions should be completely rational; it employs an optimizing strategy by seeking the best possible alternative to maximize the achievement of goals and objectives. According to the classical model, the decision-making process is a series of sequential steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. A problem is identified. Goals and objectives are established. All the possible alternatives are generated. The consequences of each alternative are considered. All the alternatives are evaluated in terms of the goals and objectives. The best alternative is selected—that is, the one that maximizes the goals and objectives. Finally, the decision is implemented and evaluated. The classical model is an ideal (a normative model), rather than a description of how most decision makers function (a descriptive model). Most scholars, in fact, consider the classical model an unrealistic ideal, if not naive. Decision makers virtually never have access to all the relevant information. Moreover, generating all the possible alternatives and their consequences is impossible. Unfortunately, the model assumes information-processing capacities, rationality, and knowledge that decision makers simply do not possess; consequently, it is not very useful to practicing administrators. THE ADMINISTRATIVE MODEL: A SATISFICING STRATEGY Given the severe limitations of the classical model, it should not be surprising that more realistic conceptual approaches to decision making in organizations have evolved. The complexity of most organizational problems and the limited capacity of the human mind make it virtually impossible to use an optimizing strategy on all but the simplest problems. Herbert Simon (1957a) was the first to introduce the administrative model of decision making to provide a more accurate description of the way administrators both do and should make organizational decisions.1 The basic approach is satisficing—that is, finding a satisfactory solution rather than the best one. Before analyzing the satisficing strategy in detail, we examine the basic assumptions upon which the model rests. 02/09/2019 - RS0000000000000000000000468987 - Educational Administration: Theory, 2/24/12 5:38 PM Research, and Practice hoy24528_ch10_329-358.indd 330 Chapter 10 Decision Making in Schools 331 Decision-Making Process: An Action Cycle The decision-making cycle inevitably begins with the definition of a problem and comes to fruition with the implementation and evaluation of action. Although the process can be conceived as a sequence of steps, in reality the process is dynamic and best described as an action cycle (see Figure 10.1). Further, many decision-making action cycles occur simultaneously in schools. One elaborate cycle, regarding fundamental goals and objectives (strategic planning), may be proceeding at the level of the board of education, while smaller and related sequential cycles, regarding curriculum and instruction, pupil personnel services, finance and business management, and facilities planning, may be progressing at the school and district level. Before we describe the cycle in detail, we preview a few assumptions about administrative decision making. First, the process is an active one in which as some problems are solved others emerge. There are no final solutions, only satisfactory answers for the moment. Second, administrators operate in a world of bounded rationality; that is, they limit the scope of their decisions so that rationality can be approached (Gigerenzer, 2004; Simon, 1955, 1956, 1957a). They recognize that their perceptions of the world are drastically simplified ones and focus only on those factors that they find most relevant and important (Simon, 1991). Third, values are an integral part of deciding; decisions are not value free. For example, when administrators pursue actions that they believe will attain a Initiate action plan Program Communicate Monitor Appraise Recognize and define the problem or issue Analyze the difficulties Classify the problem Collect data Specify problem Existing Situation Develop a plan or strategy of action Identify possible alternatives Consider probable consequences Deliberate Select action course Establish criteria for satisfactory solution FIGURE 10.1 Decision-Making Action Cycle 02/09/2019 - RS0000000000000000000000468987 - Educational Administration: Theory, 2/24/12 5:38 PM Research, and Practice hoy24528_ch10_329-358.indd 331 332 Educational Administration valued outcome, they are making judgments of values between competing goods or the lesser of evils.2 Judgments of value are inextricably related to judgments of fact. Fourth, decision making is a general pattern of action found in all organizations and in the rational administration of all major tasks and functions. The structure and process of decision making are the same irrespective of the kind of organization—business, military, educational, or industrial—and regardless of the task at hand, be it formulating policy, allocating resources, developing curriculum, or making financial decisions (Litchfield, 1956). Schools are different from industrial and business organizations in important ways, but the decision-making process is not. We turn to a more detailed analysis of each step in the action cycle.3 Step 1. Recognize and Define the Problem or Issue The recognition of a difficulty or disharmony in the system is the first step in the decision-making process. Effective administrators are sensitive to organizational actions and attitudes that do not measure up to the prescribed standards. The common retort, “We don’t have problems; we have answers,” is symptomatic of insensitive administrators who are headed for trouble. Although it may be possible for them to maintain equilibrium in the organization over the short run, the likelihood of organizational chaos over the long run seems great. The recognition and definition of a problem are crucial to deciding and often do not receive adequate attention. The way a problem is conceptualized is important to subsequent analysis and solution. Not only are sensitivity and perceptual acuteness in the administrator necessary, but a rich conceptual background and a thorough understanding of formal and informal organizations are desirable in framing the problem. Too often administrators define problems quickly and narrowly and, in so doing, restrict their options. They treat only the symptoms of the problems, not the problem itself. For example, a principal may see a request from a teacher group for more autonomy in selecting curricular materials as an attempt to undermine administrative authority. The problem so conceived yields a set of alternatives that likely will be unduly narrow and restrictive. Such a teacher request, however, can open up a host of positive, creative possibilities for long-range curriculum development. This example, coincidentally, underscores the importance of security and confidence; the secure and confident administrator is unlikely to view such a teacher request as a threat to his or her authority. During this first stage in the process, it is important to place the problem in perspective. If the problem is complex, its definition likewise will be complicated, perhaps multidimensional. The problem may need to be broken down into subproblems, with each subproblem cycled through the decision-making process. Furthermore, the problem may require several 02/09/2019 - RS0000000000000000000000468987 - Educational Administration: Theory, 2/24/12 5:38 PM Research, and Practice hoy24528_ch10_329-358.indd 332 Chapter 10 Decision Making in Schools 333 solutions. For instance, the problem of districting in a school system where large numbers of parents want their children in school X rather than Y may be settled in the short run by a policy statement indicating that a child will be assigned to a school solely on the basis of geographic location. The long-run solution, however, might well involve equalizing educational opportunities and improving the program of instruction in one or more schools.4 There are two guides for defining the problem: • First, define the immediate problem. • Then, define the long-term problem. Step 2. Analyze the Difficulties in the Existing Situation This stage of the decision-making process is directly related to the first stage; in fact, some writers prefer to combine definition and analysis. However, analysis calls for the classification of the problem. Is the problem unique? Or is it a new manifestation of a typical difficulty for which a pattern of action has already been developed? Peter F. Drucker (1966) proposed two basic kinds of decisions—generic or unique. Generic decisions arise from established principles, policies, or rules. Indeed, recurring problems are routinely solved by formulaic rules and regulations. A great many decisions that confront school principals are generic. That is, the organization has established mechanisms and procedures for dealing with problems. This does not mean, however, that they are unimportant; it simply means that they belong to a general group of organizational problems that frequently occur and that the organization wants to be prepared to deal with. Such decisions are needed when a principal implements policy mandated by the board, monitors absenteeism among teachers, mediates student-teacher conflicts, and interprets disciplinary procedures. All these generic decisions can be intermediary or appellate decisions (originating from above or below the principal in the hierarchy). In most cases the principal should be able to handle the situation by applying the appropriate rule, principle, or policy to the concrete circumstances of the case. Unique decisions, however, are probably creative decisions that require going beyond established procedures for a solution; in fact, they may require a modification of the organizational structure. Here the decision maker deals with an exceptional problem that is not adequately answered by a general principle or rule. Creative decisions quite often change the basic thrust or direction of an organization. In order to seek a creative solution, decision makers explore all ideas that are relevant to the problem. A unique decision might arise when principal and staff work to resolve a curricular issue where there are no established guidelines. The superintendent may specifically request an innovative solution. Completely unique events are rare; nevertheless, the distinction between problems that are 02/09/2019 - RS0000000000000000000000468987 - Educational Administration: Theory, 2/24/12 5:38 PM Research, and Practice hoy24528_ch10_329-358.indd 333 334 Educational Administration routine and those that are unique is an important one in terms of deciding. Administrators need to guard against two common mistakes: • Treating a routine situation as if it were a series of unique events. • Treating a new event as if it were just another old problem to which old procedures should be applied. Once the problem has been classified as generic or unique, the administrator is in a position to address a number of other questions. How important is the problem? Can the problem be more fully specified? What information is needed to specify the problem? The original definition of a problem is usually global and general. After classifying and determining the importance of the problem, the decision maker begins to define more precisely the problem and issues involved. This entails the need for information. The amount of information that should be collected depends on a number of factors, including the importance of the problem, time constraints, and the existing procedures and structure for data collection. The more important the problem, the more information the decision maker gathers. Time, of course, is almost always a constraint. Finally, the existing procedures for data collection may facilitate or prohibit the search for relevant information. In brief, decision makers need relevant facts. What is involved? Why is it involved? Where is it involved? When? To what extent? Answers to these questions provide information to map the parameters of the problem. Such information can be collected in formal, sophisticated ways, making use of operations research and computer facilities, as well as in informal ways, through personal contacts, by telephone, or in conversations. Step 3. Establish Criteria for a Satisfactory Solution After the problem has been analyzed and specified, the decision maker must decide what constitutes an acceptable solution. What are the minimum objectives that are to be achieved? What are the musts compared to the wants? It is not unusual for the perfect solution in terms of outcomes to be unfeasible. What is good enough? Answers to such questions help the decision maker establish his or her aspiration level. That is, what are the criteria for a satisfactory decision? At this point, sometimes the decision maker will rank possible outcomes along a continuum from minimally satisfying to maximally satisfying; a completely satisfactory outcome usually does not remain after compromise, adaptation, and concession. It is also useful to consider what is satisfactory in both the short and long term. Criteria of adequacy need to be specified early so that the decision maker knows that a “right” decision is being made and not just one that will be accepted. In general, the criteria used to judge the decision should be consistent with the organization’s mission. What we have referred to as criteria of adequacy, scientists often refer to as boundary conditions—the limits that the decision maker must meet if the decision is to be judged satisfactory. 02/09/2019 - RS0000000000000000000000468987 - Educational Administration: Theory, 2/24/12 5:38 PM Research, and Practice hoy24528_ch10_329-358.indd 334 Chapter 10 Decision Making in Schools 335 Step 4. Develop a Plan or Strategy of Action This is the central step in the process. After recognizing the problem, collecting data, and specifying the problem and its boundary conditions, decision makers develop a systematic and reflective plan of action. The process involves at least the following steps: • • • • Specify alternatives. Predict the consequences of each alternative. Deliberate. Select a plan of action. Before we proceed to analyze each of these steps, several limitations need to be reiterated. Administrators base their plans of action on simplified pictures of reality; they choose the factors that they regard as most relevant and crucial; and thus they are able to come to some general conclusions and take actions without becoming paralyzed by the facts that “could be” indirectly related to the immediate problems. In describing the art of administrative decision making, Barnard (1938) warns: • • • • Do not decide questions that are not pertinent. Do not decide prematurely. Do not make decisions that cannot be effective. Do not make decisions that others should make. The search for alternatives to solve a particular organizational problem is called problemistic search. It is distinguished from random curiosity and from the search for understanding per se (Cyert and March, 1963; Bass, 1985b). Problemistic search is straightforward, usually reflecting simplified notions of causality, and based on two simple rules: • Search in the area of the problem symptom(s). • Search in the area of the current alternative(s). When these two rules do not produce enough reasonable alternatives, expand the search. Problemistic search probably is the dominant style of administrators; hence, most decision making is reactive. But deciding need not be reactive. James D. Thompson (1967) has suggested that it is possible to develop behavior-monitoring procedures to search the environment for opportunities that are not activated by a problem. He calls this process opportunistic surveillance; it is the organizational counterpart of curiosity in the individual. Obviously, a decision-making structure that encourages opportunistic surveillance is more desirable than one that allows for only problemistic search. Specifying Alternatives A preliminary step in formulating an intention to act is to list possible alternatives. In actuality, only some of the options are specified because, as we have noted earlier, people do not have the informationprocessing capacity to think of all alternatives. With few exceptions, advancing 02/09/2019 - RS0000000000000000000000468987 - Educational Administration: Theory, 2/24/12 5:38 PM Research, and Practice hoy24528_ch10_329-358.indd 335 336 Educational Administration a greater number of choices increases the likelihood of finding satisfactory alternatives that meet the already-specified conditions. One such exception is the expert with much experience in the decision context (Klein, 1997; Salas and Klein, 2001; Klein, 2003; Gladwell, 2005). For example, expert chess players (Klein et al., 1995) make high-quality decisions based on the first option they consider, as do experienced fighter pilots (Klein, 1997). Hence, experts in a situation often limit their search for options without undermining decision quality. Creative decision makers are able to develop unique, viable alternatives, an often time-consuming task. Unfortunately, too many administrators do not take the time to develop a comprehensive set of possible options; they see the solution as a simple dichotomy—it is either this or that. Don’t be overly impressed with speed in deciding; it is often a sym ...
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School: UT Austin



Week 7 Assignment: Social Networking
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School effectiveness has been a major topic of discussion for the last few decades. While
there are many factors that determine the overall effectiveness of the school administration, the
contribution of communication between stakeholders cannot be denied. Since social platforms
such as Facebook, Twitter, linkedin.com and ning.com have emerged as powerful
communication media, the school can rely on them for most of the communication to keep the
stakeholders updated (Baruah, 2012). Therefore, in this context, the discussion below envisions
how the school can utilize Facebook to enhance communication between shareholders and
facilitated shared decision making.
Social Network: Facebook
Since communication is at the center of finding solutions to most challenges, Facebook
can help administrators perform their work with ease. Based on Halinger & Heck (2012), school
administrators face three common challenges. First, there is often a lack of a working definition
of effectiveness. Second, the stakeholder’s definition of the concept of effectiveness keeps
changing from time to time. Third, there are multiple stakeholders with varying definition of the
effectiveness of a school and, therefore, difficult to satisfy them all. As principals struggle to
overcome these challenges, effective communication is of great assistance since some of the
challenges arise from misunderstanding between stakeholders. For instance, the school can use
the Facebook platform to share their views on the meaning of the concept of effectiveness in a
bid to create a harmonious understanding among parents, teachers, business community and
other interested parties (Baruah, 2012).



Notably, Facebook can facilitate the sharing of crucial information that stakeholders can
use to determine the effectiveness of the school. Halinger & Heck (2011) point out the phases
considered when determining the effectiveness of a school. These are input, performance
outcomes and the transformation process. Based on this understanding, school administrators are
already aware of what stakeholders need to determine the school's effectiveness. Thus,
administrators can share the relevant information on the social platforms most accessible to
major stakeholders such as parents; in this case Facebook. Such...

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