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GETZELS-GUBA MODEL

Jacob W. Getzels Egon G. Guba Organizational (Nomothetic) Dimension Institution Social System Group Individual Role Climate Personality Expectation Intentions Need Disposition Observed Behavior

Personal (Ideographic) Dimension One of the most widely recognized and most useful framework for studying and understanding administrative and supervisory behavior is the social systems analysis developed primarily for educators by Jacob Getzels and Egon Guba. These social systems theorists view administration and supervision as a social process that occurs within a social system. Process and context can be examined according to this view, from structural, functional, and operational perspectives. Structurally, administration and supervision are considered to be a series of superordinate-subordinate relationships within a social system. Functionally, this hierarchy of relationships (executive to manager, manager to foreman, foreman to worker, etc.) is the basis for allocating and integrating roles, personnel, and facilities to accomplish organizational goals. Operationally, the process occurs in person-to-person interaction. Getzels and Guba use the term social system in a conceptual rather than a descriptive way. They conceive of this system as containing two interdependent but interacting dimensions. The first dimension consists of the institution, which is defined in terms of roles, which are in turn defined in terms of role expectations, all of which are carefully designed to fulfill the goals of the institution. They maintain that all institutions have the following characteristics and imperative functions in common: 1. Institutions have purposes. They are established to perform certain functions and are legitimized by client groups on the basis of these functions. 2. Institutions are structural. Institutional goals are achieved through task diversification. Therefore roles are established with appropriate role descriptions. Each role is assigned certain responsibilities and resources, including authority for implementing given tasks.

The ideas are conceived and responsibilities allocated in terms of actors, as defined below, rather than of personalities. 3. Institutions are normative. Roles serve as norms for the behavior of those who occupy the roles. Each actor or role incumbent is expected to behave is certain predetermined ways in order to retain a legitimate position in the organization. 4. Institutions are sanction bearing. Institutions have at their disposal appropriate positive and negative sanctions for ensuring compliance with established norms. Employees who are rate busters in the eyes of other employees, for example, may be treated to the silent treatment or to a whisper campaign. Those who appear to be deviants wait longer for supplies, are given undesirable assignments, and are often swamped with admistrivia. The operation of institutions is defined and analyzed in terms of the subunit role. Roles represent the various positions, offices, and status prerogatives that exist within the institution and are themselves defined in terms of role expectations. Roles are generally institutional givens and, therefore, are not formulated to fit one or another personality. Behaviors associated with a given role are arranged on a conceptual continuum extending from those required to those prohibited. Certain behaviors are considered absolutely mandatory (that the employee must show up for work), and others are absolutely forbidden (that an employee excepts kickbacks). Between these extremes are other behavior patterns some recommended, others disapproved, but all to varying degrees permissible. Roles are best understood when examined in relation to other roles. The employee helps us to understand the foremen and so on. In the absence of individuals with complex and unique personalities, the organizational dimension described above provides for maximum organizational predictability. This aspect of the social system is called the nomothetic dimension. The second aspect, the ideographic dim3ension, ads the human element to the social system formulation. As the institutional dimension was analyzed in terms of role and expectation, so the institutional dimension is similarly analyzed and defined operationally in terms of personality and need disposition. The ideographic dimension is similar in format (but not in substance) to the nomothetic dimension in that individuals, like institutions, have goals that they express through their personalities and pursue according to their need dispositions. The two dimensions of the social system are assumed to be in constant interaction. In its nomothetic dimension the organization strives to socialize the individual to its own image and ends, while in its ideographic dimension the individual strives to socialize the organization to his or her own image and ends. Behavior, then, in any social system is a function of the interaction between unique personalities and preestablished roles. Conformity to the institution, its roles, and its expectations leads to organizational effectiveness, while conformity to individuals, their personalities, and their need dispositions leads to individual efficiency.

Getzels and Guba identify a number of conflict situations that could potentially result from the organizations interaction with its human inhabitants. Among them are role-personality conflicts that result from a discrepancy between the pattern of expectations attached to a given role and the pattern of need dispositions of the role incumbent. A manager with a high dependence orientation would find a role characterized by autonomous and independent action quite uncomfortable; employees with a professional and technical need to interact with organizational policy makers who are defensive, authoritarian, and noncommunicative experience similar role-personality conflict. Multiple but conflicting expectations for the same role are another source of role conflict. Supervisors who are expected by some employees to provide frequent direction and by others to stay away experience this type of conflict.