This is a study of the bureaucratic characteristics of Turkish elementary and secondary schools Little is known about the organization and foundation of these schools. This study Is d beginning In an effort to develop d body of literature In these schools. Max Weber’s (in Gerth ; Mills, 1946) thinking and Hall’s (1961) operationalization of bureaucracy form the theoretical foundation for the study.
Because the construct of alienation is the main construct that has been studied with relation to bureaucracy, this study also examines the relationships between ureaucracy and sense of power as a measure of alienation. Context Organizations surround us. Bureaucracy Is d blueprint for organlzlng human activities for a desired end. It is a sociological phenomenon that has evolved throughout the history ot clvlllzauon. As a sociological tool It has been used to bulld pyramids, to invade nations, to cure illnesses, to keep criminals incarcerated, to land on Mars, to massacre millions, to educate. nd so on. It Is the tool of power, an “effective” device to control and direct human effort and behavior. The bureaucratic theory of Max Weber has been a point of departure for the development and odification of organization structure to Influence the flow of Interrelationships within organizations (Hall, 1963). The degree of bureaucracy in an organization sets the boundaries tor human action. These boundaries that regulate people’s treedom have a by-product known as alienation.
The construct of alienation has been studied with relation to bureaucracy. It has been demonstrated that people who work in bureaucracies have a limited “say” In what they do. For good or for evil, bureaucracy is the machinery to control human behavior. What matters is how to use this device without alienating people. chools are one of the forms of bureaucracy where a large portion of our lives is spent Schools prepare youth for bureaucracies. If the schools are the places that prepare people tor bureaucratized lite. hen, the teachers in them are the agents of bureaucracies. If teachers are alienated, society may also be alienated It is possible that certain problems ascribed to bureaucracies can be related to d certain degree of bureaucracy In organizations. All organizations are bureaucratic toa degree. Human lite, even before It begins and after It ends, is in contact with bureaucratic organizations. Organizations will ontinue to dominate and alienate our lives It is worthwhile to understand what bureaucracy Is and what problems are associated with It. ureducracles surround The orlgln ot the Bureaucratic Theory Since translations of Max Weber’s works into the English language during the second part of the 1940s, a vast literature on organizations, In general, and on bureaucracy, 1 Of6 In partlcular, nas Deen generated. Max weDer (Ge in favor of bureaucratic organization: argued as Tollows The decisive reason for the advantage of bureaucratic organization has always been its purely technical superiority over any form of organization. The fully developed bureaucratic mechanism compares with other organizations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production.
Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of files, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction, and of material and personal costs– these are raised to the optimum point in the strictly bureaucratic administration, and especially in its monocratic form. As compared with the collegiate, honorific, and avocation forms of administration, trained bureaucracy is superior on all these points. (p. 214) Max Weber (Etzioni, 1961) listed organizational attributes that when present, constitute the bureaucratic form of organization. 1 A continuous organization of official functions bound by rules. A specific sphere of competence. 3 The organization of offices follows the principal of hierarchy; that is, each lower office is under the control and supervision of a higher one. 4 The rules which regulate the conduct of an office may be technical rules or norms. 5 It is a matter of principle that members of the administrative staff should be completely separated from ownership of the means of production or administration. In order to enhance the organizational freedom, the resources of the organization have to be free of any outside control and the positions cannot be monopolized by any incumbent. 7 Administrative acts, decisions, and any rules are formulated and recorded in writing. (pp. 53-54) Based on the theory developed by Max Weber, researchers used bureaucratic theory as an analytical tool to examine organizational structure. Until the 1960s, case studies were used to assess bureaucratic characteristics of organizations. These studies were called unidimensional approach to the study of organization. Researchers who used the unidimensional approach believed that all characteristics of bureaucracy must be present to a high degree in an organization before it can be called a bureaucracy.
During the late 1950s this approach was questioned. Researchers started to think that all characteristics of bureaucracy might not be present in an organization at the same time. Some characteristics can be stronger than others. Characteristics could be independent of each other. Bureaucratic characteristics or dimensions could create different configurations of bureaucracies. Since the 1960s, imensional approaches to study bureaucracy have been used. Hall (1961) was among the first to measure bureaucratic dimensions in organizations empirically.
Hall (1961) was the first to develop a survey instrument to measure the degree of bureaucratization in organizations. After an extensive literature review, he identified six dimensions of bureaucracy: hierarchy of authority, division of labor, rules and regulations, procedural speclTlcatlons, Impersonallty, ana tecnnlcal competence. HIS instrument (Organizational Inventory) has 62 items. All dimensions have 10 items xcept for hierarchy of authority, which has 12 items. Modified versions of his instrument have been used in educational settings to assess school bureaucratization.
Researchers have added more items to his instrument during modifications. Hall’s instrument was first modified by the Canadian researcher, MacKay (1964), to measure six dimensions of bureaucracy in educational settings. In Canada, Robinson (1966), Kolesar (1967) and Punch (1967) continued to use and refine the Mackay’s instrument. These Canadian researchers were followed by Anderson (1970), Isherwood ( 1971), and Sousa (1980) in the U. S. Researchers using modified versions of Hall’s instrument have consistently found six dimensions of bureaucracy clustered around two overall higher-order dimensions.
Hall (1961) warned that one of the six dimensions could be an abureaucratic dimension. He found that the technical 4 competence dimension was inversely correlated with three dimensions. Mackay (1964) and Robinson (1966) also found that the dimensions did not converge under a single overall dimension. Punch (1967) found that six dimensions formed two higher order dimensions. Hierarchy of authority, rules and regulations, procedural pecifications, and impersonality clustered together while division of labor and technical competence clustered together.
The higher order dimension formed by the first set of dimensions is a measure of bureaucratization while the higher order dimension formed by the second set of dimensions is a partial measure of professionalism. Isherwood and Hoy (1973) confirmed that Hall’s six dimensions cluster under two separate second order dimensions. Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore the utility of Hall’s conceptualization of bureaucracy in analyzing the organizational structure of Turkish elementary and econdary schools. Research on educational organizations in Turkey is not as advanced as it is in the western countries.
Turkey adopted its centralized ministry system from European nations. No empirical studies were found on structural characteristics of Turkish public schools. Researchers do not have an empirical base to help them understand how organizations function. It is hoped that this study will start a literature base on the subject and provide a tool to assess the organizational structure of schools that is desperately needed in Turkey. Also an empirical llustration from Turkey might provide a useful addition to the literature because the literature on school organizations in developing countries is very limited.
Researchers know little about how school bureaucracy functions in other cultures. Questions How are the bureaucratic dimensions of Turkish elementary and secondary schools related? What are the relationships between the bureaucratic dimensions of Turkish elementary schools and the demographic variables? wnat are tne relatlonsnlps Detween tne Dureaucratlc Olmenslons 0T lur s elementary and secondary schools and teachers’ sense of power? 5 Definitions Major Variables A bureaucracy is an organizational form designed to accomplish large-scale administrative tasks by systematically coordinating the work of many individuals (Blau, 1956).
Hierarchy of authority (HA) is “the extent to which the locus of decision making is prestructured by the organization”(Hall, 1968, p. 95). Division of labor or specialization (DL) is “the extent to which work tasks are subdivided by functional specialization within the organization” (Hall, 1968, p. 95). Rule enforcement or rules and regulations (RR) is “the degree to which the behaviors of organizational members re subject to organizational control” (Hall, 1968; p. 95).
Procedural specification (PS) is “the extent to which organizational members must follow organizationally defined techniques in dealing with situations they encounter” (Hall, 1968, p. 95). Impersonality (IM) is “the extent to which both organizational members and outsiders are treated without regard to individual qualities”(Hall, 1968, p. 95). This dimension has two distinct factors. (1) Friendly climate (CLM) is the degree to which relations in the organization are friendly and warm. (2) Formality (FRM) is the degree to which nteractions among people are formal and free from emotions.
The second factor was accepted as the measure of impersonality. The friendliness of the school climate is most likely to be an outcome variable rather than a structural variable. This variable was analyzed separately. Promotions based on technical competence (TC) is “the extent to which organizationally defined “universalistic” standards are utilized in the personnel selection and advancement (Hall, 1968, p. 95). Control is the degree to which bureaucratic authority is utilized to regulate teacher behaviors.
Expertise is the degree to which professional authority is utilized to regulate teacher Sense of power (SP) is the extent to which a teacher believes he/she is able to influence the course of events in the school that holds significance for him/her (Moeller 1962). 6 Teacher’s friendship with school administrators was measured by responses to the statement, ” I have a friendship with school administrators outside the school,” on a five-point Likert type scale ranging from 1 = definitely inaccurate to 5 = definitely accurate . Demographic Variables Name of city is the school district where the teacher works.
It is operationalized as the name of the township: Karabuk (1), Safranbolu (2), Eflani (3), Eskipazar (4), Yenice (5), and Ovacik (6). Number of sessions is a two-category variable. Teachers were grouped into two categories ( ) teacners wno work at scnools tnat run one sesslon a cay ana teachers who work at schools that run two sessions a day. Level of the school refers to grades in the teacher’s school. Teachers in elementary school (K-5) were coded as one, teachers in middle schools (6-8) were coded as two, and teachers in high schools (9-11) were coded as three.
Size variables are (1) the number of teachers who are on the payroll of the teacher’s school, (2) number of students enrolled in the teacher’s school, (3) student-teacher ratio in the teacher’s school, (4) number of classrooms in the teacher’s school, and (5) number of administrators in the teacher’s school. Age of the teacher’s school is the number of years passed since the foundation of the school. Urbanization is a three-level categorical variable: teachers who work in urban schools, teachers who work in suburban schools, and teachers who work in rural schools. Urban was coded as one, suburban was coded as two, and rural was coded s three.
Occupation of principal’s father was a five-level categorical variable: teachers who work under principals whose fathers were farmers (coded 1), teachers who work under principals whose fathers were blue collar workers (coded 2), teachers who work under principals whose fathers were small business owners (coded 3), teachers who work under principals whose fathers were civil servants (coded 4), and teachers who work under principals whose fathers were professionals (code 5). 7 Sex is the gender of the teacher. Male teachers were coded as one while female teachers were coded two.
Socio-economic status of teacher was measured by three variables (1) growing up location of teacher, (2) number of sisters and brothers of teacher, and (3) father’s occupation of teacher. The grown-up location of teacher was operationalized as rural (1), town (2), city (3), big city (4), and all (5). Father’s occupation was categorized as small business owner (1), civil servant (2), blue-collar worker (3), and farmer (4). Socio economic status of students (SES) is the teacher’s principal’s perception of students socioeconomic status measured on a five point likert type scale.
Principals ere asked to rate students in their school on a five-point scale ranging from very poor (1) to very wealthy (5). Political ties of teachers were measured on a five-point Likert- type scale. Teachers were asked to respond to following statement: “l know influential people who can help me if I am in trouble in this school. ” Response options ranged from definitely inaccurate (1) to definitely accurate (5). Experience of teacher was measured by four variables: (1) age of teacher, (2) total service years of teacher in teaching, (3) total years in administrative positions and (4) ork experience outside teaching.
The last variable, the work experience outside teaching, was a categorical variable. Teachers who had work experience outside teaching were assigned one while teachers who did not have work experience outside teaching were assigned two. Overall alienation from work was utilized to cnec tne vallOl ty 0T sense 0T power scale. leacners were asKea to response to tne following question: “Do you wish your child to pursue a career in teaching? ” Those who said “”yes” were assigned “two” and those who said “no” were assigned “one. ” Teacher’s birthplace had two possible responses. Those who were born in the province, Karabuk, were assigned a “two. Those who were born outside the province were assigned a “one. ” Training had three potential responses. Teachers who were not graduated from teacher colleges were assigned a “one,” teachers who were not graduated from teacher colleges but 8 earned teaching certificate by attending extra training were assigned a “two,” and regular teachers who were graduated from teacher colleges were assigned a “three. ” Experience of principals had three measures: (1) age of teacher’s principal, (2) total ears in administrative positions, and (3) total service years in education sector.
These measures were obtained during school visitations. Percentage of male is the percentage of male teachers in teacher’s school. Organization of the Study The relevant literature is reviewed in the second chapter. The third chapter deals with instrumentation and methodology. The findings of the pilot study are reported in the fourth chapter. The findings of the research sample are in the fifth chapter. After discussions of findings, recommendations for further research are presented in the sixth chapter.
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