Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 297–321 | Cite as

The relation of organizational process orientation to effectiveness and efficiency in elementary public schools

  • James Griffith
Article
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Abstract

Organizational psychology has identified four recurrent organizational models (rational goal, open systems, human relations, and internal processes), each placing different emphases on internal and external organizational processes. Using a sample of 122 elementary schools in a large suburban school district located outside a metropolitan area, the present study examined the relation of school emphases on internal and external processes to school effectiveness and efficiency. Consistent with hypotheses, inefficient schools (lower-than-average student achievement test scores, adjusted by the percentage of students enrolled in the free and reduced-price meal program and per-pupil expenditures) were identified by the human relations model or as inward-directed with emphasis on the quality of student-school staff interpersonal relationships, by higher levels of student enjoyment, and by smaller student enrollments and smaller student-faculty ratios. Contrary to expectation, results showed that effective schools (higher-than-average student achievement test scores) were best described in terms of the rational goal model or as outward-directed, with emphasis on involving and empowering parents and on internal structure, control, and inflexibility (i.e., more school order and discipline). Results are discussed in terms of the broader organizational literature, specifically, competing organizational value orientations, effects of organizational structure and member characteristics on organizational process orientation, and the use of organizational process orientation as means to achieve organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Keywords

Human Relation Goal Model Student Enrollment Effective School Organizational Literature 

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

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  • James Griffith

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