In this article we examine the nature of administrative control of school principals in 12 especially effective districts in California. We combined two lines of inquiry, knowledge regarding control in organizations and information from the teacher effects and school effectiveness research, to examine types and patterns of control mechanisms in these districts. Although the work reported herein is exploratory in nature, we see evidence that, contrary to the norm, supervision and evaluation of site level administrators were rational and meaningful processes in these effective districts. We report further that the supervision and evaluation functions appeared to form important linkage mechanisms between schools and districts. In addition, we note that supervision and evaluation provide a strong base for the development of other important linkage functions, especially goal setting. Finally, we report that the superintendents often appear to be the key figures in the supervision and evaluation functions in these effective school districts.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Barr, R., Dreeben, R., and Wiratchai, N. (1983).How Schools Work. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Berman, P., and McLaughlin, M. (1978).Federal Programs Supporting Educational Change. Volume III of Implementing and Sustaining Educational Changes. Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation.
Bidwell, C. E., and Kasarda, J. D. (1975). School district organization and student achievement.American Sociological Review 40: 55–70.
Bossert, S. T., Dwyer, D. C., Rowan, B., and Lee, G. V. (1981). The instructional management role of the principal: a preliminary review and conceptualization. Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development. San Francisco.
Bridges, E. (1982). Research on school administrators: the state of the art, 1967–1980.Educational Administration Quarterly 18: 12–33.
Cohen, E., and Miller, R. (1980). Coordination and control of instruction.Pacific Sociological Review 23: 446–473.
Cohen, M. D., March, J. G., and Olsen, J. P. (1972). A garbage can model of organizational choice.Administrative Science Quarterly 17: 1–26.
Coleman, J., Campbell, E., Hobson, C., McPartland, J., Mood, A., Weinfeld, F., and York, R. (1966).Equality of Educational Opportunity. Washington, D.C.: United States Office of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics.
Crowson, R. L., and Morris, V. C. (1984). Administrative control in large-city-school systems: an investigation in Chicago. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans.
Cuban, L. (1984). Transforming the frog into a prince: effective schools research, policy, and practice at the district level.Harvard Educational Review 54: 129–151.
Duignan, P. (1980). Administrative behavior of school superintendents: a descriptive study.The Journal of Educational Administration 18: 5–25.
Duckworth, K. (1981). Linking educational policy and management with student achievement. Center for Educational Policy and Management, University of Oregon.
Farrar, E., Neufeld, B., and Miles, M. B. (1983). Review of effective schools programs in high schools; implications for policy, practice, and research. Final report to the National Commission on Excellence in Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 228 243).
Friesen, D., and Duignan, P. (1980). How superintendents spend their working time.The Canadian Administrator 14: 1–5.
Hallinger, P., and Murphy, J. (1982). The superintendent's role in promoting instructional leadership.Administrator's Notebook, 30.
Hannaway, J., and Sproull, L. S. (1979). Who's running the show? Coordination and control in educational organizations.Administrator's Notebook, 27.
Lortie, D. C., Crow, G., and Prolman, S. (1983). The elementary school principal in suburbia: an occupational and organizational study. (Contract No. 400-77-0094) Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Education.
Lortie, D. C. (1969). The balance of control in elementary teaching. In A. Etzioni (ed.),The Semi-professions and their Organization. New York: Free Press.
Lortie, D. C. (1975).Schoolteacher. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
March, J. G. (1978). American public school administration: a short analysis.School Review 86: 217–250.
Meyer, J. W., and Rowan, B. (1975). Notes on the structure of educational organizations: revised version. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association, San Francisco.
Mintzberg, H. (1979).The Structuring of Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Murphy, J. (1978). Professionalism and bureaucracy in a loosely-coupled elementary school: a case of power gained and power lost or who ate the last piece of power pie. Unpublished manuscript available from the author.
Murphy, J., Hallinger, P., and Mitman, A. (1983). Problems with research on educational leadership: issues to be addressed.Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 5: 297–305.
Murphy, J., Hallinger, P., Weil, M., and Mitman, A. (1983). Instructional leadership: a conceptual framework.Planning and Changing 14: 137–149.
Murphy, J., and Hallinger, P. (1984). Policy analysis at the local level: a framework for expanded investigation.Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 6: 5–13.
Murphy, J., and Hallinger, P. (1985a). An exploratory analysis of instructionally effective high schools in California.NASSP Bulletin, 69: 18–22.
Murphy, J., and Hallinger, P. (1985b). Strategies for coupling schools: the effective schools approved.NASSP Bulletin, 69: 7–13.
Murphy, J., Hallinger, P., and Mesa, R. P. (1985). School effectiveness: checking progress and assumptions and developing a role for state and federal government.Teachers College Record, 86: 615–641.
Ouchi, W.G. (1979). A conceptual framework for the design of organizational control systems.Management Science 25: 833–847.
Owens, R. G. (1984). American high school: characteristics of organization and culture and their impact on the exercise of leadership by the principal. Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans.
Peterson, K. D. (1978). The principal's tasks.Administrator's Notebook, 26.
Peterson, K. D. (1983). Mechanisms of administrative control in educational organizations: an exploratory study. (Contract No. 01776) Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Education.
Peterson, K. D. (1984). The effect of school district size on the use of hierarchical and non-hierarchical mechanisms of control. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans.
Pitner, N. J. (1982). The Mintzberg method: What have we really learned? Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association.
Purkey, S. C., and Smith, M. S. (1982). Effective schools: a review. Paper prepared for presentation at a conference on the implications of research on teaching for practice. NIE, Warrenton, Va.
Rowan, B. (1983). Instructional effectiveness in school districts: a conceptual framework. San Francisco: Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development.
Rowan, B., Dwyer, D. C., and Bossert, S. T. (1982). Methodological considerations in studies of effective principals. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association, New York.
Rowan, B., Bossert, S. T., and Dwyer, O. C. (1983). Research on effective schools: a cautionary note.Educational Researcher, 12.
Sproull, L. S. (1981). Managing educational programs: a microbehavioral analysis.Human Organization 40: 113–122.
Thomspon, J. D. (1967).Organizations in Action. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Willover, D., and Fraser, H. (1979). School superintendents on their work.Administrator's Notebook, 28.
About this article
Cite this article
Murphy, J., Peterson, K.D. & Hallinger, P. The administrative control of principals in effective school districts: The supervision and evaluation functions. Urban Rev 18, 149–175 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01112191
- Evaluation Function
- Linkage Function
- Control Mechanism
- School District
- Education Research