Aims to develop the conception and theory of school‐based management and map its characteristics of school functioning for facilitating the ongoing discussion and effort for school management reforms in local or international contexts. School‐based management employs theories of “equifinality” and “decentralization”, assumes that “school is a self‐managing system” and regards “initiative of human factor” and “improvement of internal process” as important. When compared with externally‐controlled schools, the characteristics of school‐based managing schools are very different in school functioning. They should have clear school mission and strong organizational culture. In these schools, managing strategies should encourage participation and give full play to members′ initiative; there should also be considerable autonomy of procuring and using resources to solve problems in time; the role of people concerned should be active and developmental; human relationship is open, co‐operative with mutual commitment; administrators should be high quality and always learning; and evaluation of school effectiveness should include multilevel and multi‐facet indicators of input, process and output in order to help the school learn to improve.
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