chapter
5 Pages

Introduction

WithCyril Wilkinson, Ernie Cave

Interest in the managerial aspects of schools has grown in parallel with the increase in size and complexity of educational institutions. The question of the extent to which a formal study of management theory can lead to improved practice in schools has been a particular focus of attention. The early arguments tended to become polarised into a 'congruent' or 'dissimilar' debate. The 'dissimilar' position argues that the peculiarity of education is such that management theory, and more particularly, management techniques, are irrelevant. The assertion is made from a strongly educationist standpoint that in the complex purposes, social structures and processes of educational institutions 'management' is an alien concept. From a theoretical point of view modem writers on management increasingly question many of the assumptions of rationality, certainty and predictability which underlay early approaches to the study of management and which were difficult for practitioners in schools to accept.