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Chapter 3

Structure in Schools

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Model of Bureaucracy
Max Weber (1947)
 Division of Labor
Division of labor leads to specialization and specialization promotes expertise.
 Impersonal Orientation
Decisions based on facts, not feelings or biases.
 Hierarchy of Authority - Systems of superiors and subordinates
Hierarchy promotes disciplined compliance and coordination.
 Rules and Regulations
Formalization ensures stability and uniformity of behavior.
 Career Orientation
Career orientation-promotion according to seniority, achievement, or both
 Efficiency
Bureaucracy maximizes rational decision-making and administrative efficiency

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Critique of Weber’s Model
Function Characteristic Dysfunction

Expertise Division of Labor Boredom

Rationality Impersonal Orientation Lack of morale

Compliance and Hierarchy of Authority Communication

Coordination blocks
Continuity and Rules and Regulations Rigidity and goal
Stability displacement
Incentive Career Orientation Conflict between
achievement and
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Functions and Dysfunctions
of Rules
Functions Dysfunctions

Explication Reinforce Apathy

Screening Goal displacement
Legitimate Punishment Create legalism
Leeway Indulgency

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Informal Organization

Informal organization is the spontaneous development of a social

structure and culture within a formal organization--it is a “shadow
How does the informal organizations develop?

Activities, interactions, and sentiments form the following:

•Informal structure
•Division into cliques
•Informal norms
•Personal relations
•Informal communication; the grapevine
•Informal leadership

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Formal vs. Informal Structure

Formal System Informal System

 Hierarchy  Informal structure
 Division of Labor  Division into cliques

 Formalization  Informal norms

 Impersonality  Personal relations

 “Chain of command”  “Grapevine”

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Other Criticisms of Bureaucracy
1. Dual Structure
Is the guiding principal of bureaucracy.

Authority based on expertise or based on rules and discipline?

2. Feminist Critique
Does bureaucracy perpetuate male values at the expense of female ones?

Hierarchy, impersonality, independence, rationality, competition, centralized

Egalitarianism, personalism, dependence, emotionality, cooperation, decentralized

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Summary of Criticisms
On Bureaucracy
1. Dysfunctional consequences not considered.
2. Informal organization neglected.
3. Conflict between administration based on
expertise and administration based on disciplined
4. Feminist Critique

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Brainstorming Activity
 How do members formally communicate? Informally?
 What formal processes drive decision making?
List informal “behind the scene” practices.
 What are dominant sources of formal power in your school?
Who has informal power in your school? Why?
 What are the formal hiring procedures?
What is the informal practice?
 Who sets the formal goals? Informal goals?

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Centralization: Enabling and Coercive
What is Centralization?
Centralization is the locus of control for decision making--the hierarchy.

Two kinds of centralization:

 Hindering

Structure makes it difficult for teachers to do their

work; it hinders professional activity.
 Enabling

Structure facilitates the work of teachers; it enables

teachers to make professional decisions.

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Formalization: Enabling and Coercive
What is Formalization?
Formalization is the formal system of rules, regulations, procedures, and policies.

Two kinds of Formalization:

 Coercive

A rigid set of procedures that punishes and attempts to force

 Enabling

A flexible set of best practices that enables one to deal more

effectively with inevitable problems.

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Enabling and Hindering Structures
Enabling Organization Hindering Organization
Enabling Hierarchy Hindering Hierarchy
Enabling Rules Coercive Rules &Procedures
Use two-way Impose top-down

communication communication
View problems as View problems as

opportunities constraints
Seek mutual solutions Force consensus

Support differences Suspicious of differences

Practice openness Be cautious and closed

Embrace the unexpected Fear the unexpected

Correct mistakes Punish mistakes

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Hall on Structure
Types of Rational Organizations -Hall(1962)
Bureaucratic Pattern
 Hierarchy of Authority

 Rules for Incumbents

 Procedural Specifications

 Impersonality

Professional Pattern
 Technical Competence

 Specialization

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Formal Structure in Schools

Professional Pattern
High Low

High Weberian Authoritarian

Low Professional Chaotic

Types of School Structures

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Predicted Evolutionary Changes
In Structure
Chaotic Authoritarian Weberian Professional
Organization Organization Organization Organization

Stable Environment

Turbulent Environment

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Discussion Question
Use the four types of bureaucracies defined by the Hall to analyze the
how to change from one structure to another.

•For example, how does one move a school from a Chaotic

Structure to a Weberian One?
•Can one go directly to a Weberian Structure or does one first
go to an Authoritarian Structure before a Weberian one?
•Which is the ideal structure for schools? Which is better a
Weberian Structure or a Professional Structure? Defend
your choice of the ideal?
• Is the ideal possible? If so, how would you lead a school
toward that end?

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Mintzberg on Structure

Techno- Middle Support

Structure Line Staff

Operating Core

Five Basic Parts of Structure

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Control or Coordinating
Coordinating mechanisms are the fundamental means
organizations use to monitor and control work. These
mechanisms are the glue the hold the organization together.

 Mutual Adjustment--informal communication

 Direct Supervision--personal command
 Standardization of Work--program directions
 Standardization of Output--specify the product
 Standardization of Skills--specify training

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Five Combinations and Five
Basic Structures (Mintzberg)
Key Part Control Mechanism Organization Type
 Strategic Apex…….Direct Supervision……Simple Structure
 Technostructure…. Stand. of Work………..Machine Bur.
 Operating Core….. Stand. of Skills………...Professional Bur.

 Middle Line………. Stand. Of Outputs…….Divisional Form

 Support Staff…….. Mutual Adjustment……Adhocracy

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Discussion Question
Apply Mintzberg’s Framework to Schools:

What is the ideal structure for elementary schools?

For secondary schools?
Which coordinating mechanism(s) are most
appropriate for controlling teachers?
What is the most important structural part of the
Discuss the structure that really exits compared to
what should exist. Is that possible

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Loose Coupling
Loose couplings are structural connections among the elements that are tied
together loosely and in some cases disconnected. E.g,. The administration of a
school as little influence in what is happening in the classroom. Consider

Some schools are tightly coupled and others are loosely coupled.

Bureaucracies tend to be tightly coupled.

Professional organizations tend to be more loosely coupled.

Tight coupling promotes limits discretion of teachers.

Loose coupling enhances discretion of teachers.

To what extent is you school loosely coupled? Analyze the tight and loose
couplings in your school? Does the structure need tightening or loosening?

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Professional and Bureaucratic Orientations

Professional Orientation Bureaucratic Orientation

Sources of Compatibility between Orientations
• Expertise • Expertise
• Objective perspective • Objective perspective
• Impersonal approach • Impersonal approach
• Service to clients • Service to the organization
Sources of Conflict between Orientations

• Colleague reference group • Hierarchical orientation

• Autonomy in decision making • Disciplined compliance
• Self-imposed control • Subordinated to the organization

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Theory into Practice Applications
1. Name the people who have formal authority over teachers in your school?
What are their formal positions? How much authority do they have and how
do they exert it? Give specific examples. Describe the division of labor and
specialization in your school. Is there a narrow or broad span of control?
How much autonomy do teachers have to make their own decisions? How
would you characterize the formal organization of your school?

2. Name the people who have informal authority but no formal authority?
Where do they get their influence? What are the important informal norms in
your school? How do the formal and informal leaders interact? Do they
cooperate or compete? Give some examples. How much conflict exists
between the formal and informal? Give examples of conflict. Describe the
grapevine. How would you characterize the informal organizations of your

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011

Practical Imperatives
• Ensure that those with expertise make the important decisions: Knowledge rules.
• Substitute professional judgment for rules when possible: Judgment trumps rules.
• Initiate enabling structures: They facilitate positive school cultures.
• Avoid hindering structures: They frustrate professional judgment and teacher creativity.
• Anticipate the negative consequences of rules: Be prepared and flexible.
• Review and delete rules each year: The fewer the number of rules, the better.
• Know your informal school leaders: Informal leadership is an important complement to
the formal.
• Balance formal demands with individual capabilities: Both are critical for success.
• Make the workplace interesting and challenging: Create structures that nurture creativity.
• Be mindful: Make mindfulness in attitude, organization, and behavior a habit of thought
and action.
• Institutionalize structures that work: Change structures that don’t.
• Move from bureaucratic to professional control: Teacher judgment should eventually
substitute for administrative control.
• Seek harmony between the formal and informal organization: Both are imperative for
effective organization.

W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011