Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dwight Cline, Robert Kennedy, D.G. Wallman

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Degree Type

Education Specialist


Site-based decision making has been the focus of considerable research. However, the study of perceived teacher influence in schools utilizing site-based decision making has been neglected as applied to specific sites. Much of the research on participatory decision making has focused primarily on the effective group behaviors of decision making bodies, the structural components of programs, descriptive case studies of programs, or on general themes such as school restructuring. Much of the literature on decision making has been remiss in describing the process from a human orientation, as opposed to a product orientation.

This study examines the perception of teachers in a school with a decision making council. The focus of the study is on the perceived degree of teacher influence found in one school utilizing a site-based decision making council. The focus of this analysis was on the perceived degree of teacher influence in relation to the structural factors found at the school site.

This study employed the techniques of qualitative methodology. Data were obtained through document review, observation, interview, and questionnaire. The concern was for insight into the perceived degree of influence from the viewpoint of individual perspectives which were examined. The subjects included members of a decision making council and the teachers represented by the council.

The data revealed two distinct structures which were influential in the perceived degree of teacher influence. These structures were referred to as formal and informal impact agents. Sub-groupings of the formal structure were referred to as historical and novel.

The formal structural variables are described as historical (hierarchical systems entrenched by tradition or role authority) and novel (hierarchical systems which impact the implementation phase of decisions). Informal structures are characterized as collegial and deal with traditional and nontraditional interaction patterns among school personnel.

A consistent theme was the belief that the novel structural system accommodated more teacher influence at the school site. Collegial interactions, which were observed and described, reflected this belief.

Data suggest that there are implications for focusing on the degree of influence perceived by teachers when introducing a system of governance involving site-based decision making.


Education | Educational Leadership