Paradigm shifts and site-based management in the United States toward a paradigm of social empowerment

Gary L. Anderson, Alexandra Dixon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The current popularity of participatory, site-based management seems to be driven by its close association in the minds of many with democracy, empowerment and decentralized, local decision-making. Ironically, less than a decade ago the effective schools literature was touting school principals as the heroes of school reform. Effective schools had principals that were strong leaders who were responsible for everything from an orderly school climate to a school’s high achievement scores. Principals who achieved positive change in their school, we were told, were those who were able effectively to promoteeven through supportive coercion if necessary-innovation and change (Huberman and Miles, 1984). Now the image of the strong leader who makes the difference between an effective or ineffective school has given way to the facilitator who empowers by sharing decision-making power with a variety of stakeholders, or, in its strongest manifestation, the notion of schools without principals at all. This apparently dramatic shift in management theory exists in the context of an equally dramatic saga of school reform in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Socially Critical View of the Self-Managing School
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781135721169
ISBN (Print)9780750702126
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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