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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Michael R. Ford and Douglas M. Ihrke

The purpose of this paper is to determine the differing ways in which nonprofit charter and traditional public school board members define the concept of accountability in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the differing ways in which nonprofit charter and traditional public school board members define the concept of accountability in the school or schools they oversee. The findings speak to the governing consequences of shifting oversight of public education from democratically elected bodies to unelected nonprofit governing boards.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use originally collected survey data from democratically elected school board members and nonprofit charter school board members in Minnesota to test for differences in how these two populations view accountability. Open-ended survey questions are coded according to a previously used accountability typology.

Findings

The authors find that charter school board members are more likely than traditional public school board members to define accountability through high stakes testing as opposed to staff professionalization and bureaucratic systems.

Originality/value

The results speak to the link between board governance structure and accountability in the public education sector, providing new understanding on the way in which non-elected charter school board members view their accountability function.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Douglas M. Ihrke

This article was written to encourage scholars to not forget to include the power of hierarchy in their studies of leadership in public sector organizations. Contemporary…

Abstract

This article was written to encourage scholars to not forget to include the power of hierarchy in their studies of leadership in public sector organizations. Contemporary theories of leadership too often assume that hierarchy will wither away once the leader imposes his or her will on the organization, an assumption that does not seem to work in reality given the bureaucratic nature of public organizations. Instead it is argued that we can learn about public sector leadership needs by remembering the power of hierarchy and what it demands in terms of leadership from different levels in the organization. The article concludes with speculation as to how future research on leadership might be directed with hierarchy in mind.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Michael R. Ford and Douglas M. Ihrke

This study aims to use the original data collected from school board members representing nonprofit charter schools in the state of Minnesota to examine the relationship…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to use the original data collected from school board members representing nonprofit charter schools in the state of Minnesota to examine the relationship between the distribution of board-executive governance responsibilities and the performance of organizations operating as part of a New Public Management style macro-governance reform.

Design/methodology/approach

A combination of survey data collected from Minnesota charter school board members and hard performance data were utilized in two OLS regression models to predict the link between organizational governance and school performance.

Findings

The authors find that boards can improve hard measures of organizational performance by shifting responsibility of day-to-day operations closer to the executive, and public advocacy duties closer to the board. The results build on the existing literatures on school board governance and board-executive relations. Overall, the findings suggest the existence of an ideal balance between board-executive governance responsibilities in key functional areas on charter school boards.

Originality/value

Though a healthy literature exists regarding the value of charter schools, very few studies have actually explored the way in which these organizations are governed. This study is the first to link charter board governance responsibilities to performance.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Gerald T. Gabris, Stephen A. Maclin and Douglas M. Ihrke

While many, with good reason, have come to view the demoralizing side of modern public bureaucracies with skepticism, many have gone so far as to use these as a basis for…

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Abstract

While many, with good reason, have come to view the demoralizing side of modern public bureaucracies with skepticism, many have gone so far as to use these as a basis for developing cynical conceptions of organizational behavior. This article takes exception to such extreme views. Here, using the role of the organizational leader as a focal point, a more optismistic perspective is identified. From this perspective, the authors apprehend significant differences in the performance of public organizations. The authors make their case for the efficacy of this, which they call the transformational leadership perspective, and explain how, much more so than sceptical perspectives, transformational leadership prepares public organizations for the challenges they must face in the upcoming millenium.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Burn‐out is a costly and distressing phenomenon, which damages both individuals and organizations. Employees feel undervalued and frustrated, the quality of their work…

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1419

Abstract

Burn‐out is a costly and distressing phenomenon, which damages both individuals and organizations. Employees feel undervalued and frustrated, the quality of their work deteriorates, and ultimately they may leave the organization. If companies could recognize the signs and causes of burn‐out, it might be possible to intervene to prevent it. Recent research has identified some factors which might be involved and offers some practical steps to prevent the loss of valuable staff through burn‐out.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2018

Carole Collins-Ayanlaja, Warletta Brookins and Alison Taysum

Superintendents’ agency in the US is shaped by governance systems within education systems. These Education Governance Systems have been in a state of flux and experienced…

Abstract

Superintendents’ agency in the US is shaped by governance systems within education systems. These Education Governance Systems have been in a state of flux and experienced turbulence for twenty years. The professional challenge this research addresses is how do 14 credentialed educational professional African American women superintendents with doctorates and track records of school improvement, navigate the turbulence to empower families, and Empower Young Societal Innovators for Equity, Renewal (EYSIER), Social Mobility, and Peace.

This chapter identifies three aspects of a theory of knowledge to action to emerge from the empirical evidence presented. First, African American women superintendents need to know how to access policy and legislation, how to stay up to date with policy and need to be empowered to challenge policy. Policy has the back of African American women fighting institutionalised racism. Second, African American women superintendents need role models, and mentors with wisdom who can create proactive and mobilising networks across the state and the nation to advocate for and to support the teachers’ and leaders’ professional learning to be the best teachers, leaders and superintendents they can be. Finally, the African American women superintendents who have been self-selecting, or identified as potential future superintendents by current superintendents and schoolboards, need to be part of succession planning that transcends the short elected lives of district school boards. Newly incumbent African American women superintendents need to be empowered by Education Governance Systems to enable them to deliver on their manifestos and track records of outstanding school improvement with the impact strategies they were employed to implement. The impact strategies include promoting high-quality home–school engagement and ensuring all students learn how to learn, are culturally sensitive, ask good questions and solve problems as Young Societal Innovators for Equity and Renewal. The chapter recommends a network of African American women superintendents implements this theory of knowledge to action and that their work is documented, and if successful in optimising students’ learning, and outcomes, disseminated to build capacity for EYSIER.

Details

Turbulence, Empowerment and Marginalisation in International Education Governance Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-675-2

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Michael Ford and Douglas Ihrke

The purpose of this research was to determine the extent to which American school board members faced electoral competition, as well as the factors influencing the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research was to determine the extent to which American school board members faced electoral competition, as well as the factors influencing the likelihood of competition.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors utilized original national survey data of American school board members linked with school district demographic data obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics. Several hypotheses were tested using three state-level fixed-effects logistic regression models predicting electoral competition.

Findings

The authors found that 39.6% of American school board members reported not having an opponent in their most recent election. School board members serving larger urban school districts with higher percentages of special needs students and racial minorities were more likely to have faced electoral competition.

Originality/value

The authors highlighted potential flaws in the traditional model of local democratic governance and helped expand understanding of the dissatisfaction theory of American democracy and continuous participation theory. The authors concluded with several suggestions on how the results can be used to inform future local governance reforms that increase electoral competition and/or create more effective governance models.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 58 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Gerald T. Gabris

This article makes the case that for leaders to be effective they also need to be credible. Credibility is achieved by practicing leader behaviors focusing on vision…

Abstract

This article makes the case that for leaders to be effective they also need to be credible. Credibility is achieved by practicing leader behaviors focusing on vision, trust, modeling the way, risk taking, and rewarding others. Leaders who possess high credibility are able to more successfully adapt to environmental change, because employees throughout the hierarchy will accept change mandates as legitimate. Leadership credibility is associated with the transformational model of leadership, and this article suggests that public managers would be advantaged by practicing this particular leadership strategy.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Kimberly L. Nelson, Curtis H. Wood and Gerald T. Gabris

The authors surveyed city administrators in the six-county Chicago region to test an innovation management capacity process model. Innovation management capacity is…

Abstract

The authors surveyed city administrators in the six-county Chicago region to test an innovation management capacity process model. Innovation management capacity is conceptualized as the function of council-staff functionality, managerial leadership capacity, and staff team management. The empirical results from 220 city administrators in 53 cities support the hypothesis that the number of municipal innovations is positively correlated with innovation management capacity, controlling for structural, socioeconomic, and demographic variables. However, this study does not find a statistical relationship between innovation effectiveness and innovation management capacity. The authors posit two possible explanations for these results and propose an alternative innovation management capacity process model for testing in future research.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2010

Aino Salimäki and Sini Jämsén

This paper aims to look into employee perceptions of politics and fairness in a work setting where a new merit pay system had recently been implemented.

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5842

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to look into employee perceptions of politics and fairness in a work setting where a new merit pay system had recently been implemented.

Design/methodology/approach

The results are based on employee survey responses from three governmental organizations (n=367) that had implemented analogous merit pay systems.

Findings

Hierarchical moderated regression results indicated that perceptions of politics and fairness distinctively and interactively predicted whether the pay system was perceived effective in achieving its objectives. The results suggest that some forms of politics in performance appraisals (e.g. compression) might be perceived less detrimental than others (e.g. favoritism). In a high politics environment, the pay system effectiveness varied as a function of the level of distributive justice. Voice in the pay system development only mattered in a situation where there was a low level of organizational politics.

Research limitations/implications

One of the main limitations of this study is its reliance on cross‐sectional data. Future research should complement employee perceptions about pay system effectiveness with objective data from the organizations studied. Research on the effect of contextual factors, such as national culture on the motives, in and reactions to, organizational politics, is desired.

Practical implications

The result suggests that the adopted merit pay systems were not ineffective or detrimental per se, but that the effectiveness varied as a function of the established political and fairness climates at different levels of the organization.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the discussion on what are the conditions under which politics and fairness are antithetical, and when they are interactively associated with outcomes.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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