Shared decision -making: A study in human resource development and teacher initiatives

Gary Alfred Cialfi, Fordham University

Abstract

Problem statement. This study demonstrates that the nature of shared decision making and the priority value that is placed on it can affect teachers' capacities to initiate. How can the use of shared decision making develop the human resource and generate teacher initiatives? Two schools are compared: In one, faith in the human resource is sometimes considered, and in the other, faith in the human resource is a priority. Related issues which emerge are: (a) organizational structure as it relates to what decision making bodies exist and how they relate to each other in defining needs of students and teachers; (b) leadership and how the principal's confidence in teachers affects the nature of shared decision making and the teachers' capacities to initiate; and (c) culture and how the school affects the implementation of shared decision making and teacher initiatives.^ Findings. (1) An organizational structure which forms and connects decision making units can enable the faculty and administration to develop a comprehensive, holistic perspective in defining and acting upon needs of students and teachers. (2) The absence of non-academic area teachers from a grade level team may cause them to be disenfranchised and place limits on a holistic student perspective. (3) The principal's confidence in teachers affects the nature of shared decision making and the teachers' capacities to initiate. (4) A principal's commitment to shared decision making and shared leadership can be demonstrated by investing in regularly scheduled meeting time and leadership training. (5) A culture based on human resource theory rather than human relations theory encourages teachers to influence core values of the school's mission.^ Conclusions. (1) Shared decision making in a school without an organizational structure that connects decision making units may encourage teachers and departments tending toward narrow classroom and curriculum based perspectives to remain isolated. (2) Shared decision making can generate human resource development throughout a school if the organizational structure includes grade level teams and connects them together with the other decision making units. (3) Shared decision making can be misused or its potential benefits overlooked when a principal encourages collaboration only to the extent that it serves a specific purpose such as generating teacher satisfaction, gathering data, or abnegating the responsibility of making a decision alone. ^

Subject Area

Educational administration

Recommended Citation

Cialfi, Gary Alfred, "Shared decision -making: A study in human resource development and teacher initiatives" (1992). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9304511.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9304511

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