Administrators Solving the Problems of Practice: Decision-Making Concepts, Cases, and Consequences (3e) : 9780205508013

Administrators Solving the Problems of Practice: Decision-Making Concepts, Cases, and Consequences (3e)

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Pearson Higher Ed USA
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Tested in hundreds of classrooms, this text, with cases, is a student favorite that brings eight classical models of decision making to life, creating useful tools in developing strategies to solve real-life problems.     


This book describes eight different models of decision-making, compares the models, and illustrates how to use each model with real cases from schools.  The frameworks include; classical, administrative, incremental, mixes scanning, political, and garbage can models as well as two models of shared decision making.  After illustrating the use of these decision-making models to analyze and develop solution strategies, students have the opportunity to explore about fifty actual cases to build their own analyses and solution strategies.

Table of contents


Chapter 1: Introduction

Case Method: An Historical Perspective

Rationality and Decision Making

Rationality and Values

Rationality and the Environment

Rationality and the Unexpected

Mindful Decision Making: Reflective, Not Mechanical


Chapter 2: Decision Making:  Optimizing and Satisficing

The Classical Model: An Optimizing Strategy

The Administrative Model: A Satisficing Strategy

Decision-Making Process: A Cyclical Process

Case 2.1 The Teachers Council

Analyzing the Case: Using the Satisficing Model

Case 2.2 Controversial Speaker


Chapter 3: Decision Making: Muddling and Scanning

The Incremental Model: A Strategy of Successive Limited Comparisons

Case 3.1: Conflict at Christmas

Analyzing the Case: An Incremental Approach

The Mixed-Scanning Model: An Adaptive Strategy

Analyzing the Case: An Adaptive Strategy

Summary and Conclusion

Case 3.2: Crisis in Marshall Creek


Chapter 4: Decision Making: Garbage and Politics

The Garbage-Can Model: Irrational Decision Making

Case 4.1: Critical Friends Groups

Analyzing the Case: Garbage-Can Model

The Political Model: Personal Rationality

Case 4.2: Divided Loyalties

Analyzing the Case: The Political Model

Summary and Conclusion

Case 4.3: Politics at River Grove


Chapter 5: Using the Best Model: Practice Cases

Decision-Making Models: A Comparison

The Best Model: A Contingency Approach

A Contingency Mode: Matching Strategy with Situation

Applying the Appropriate Model

Decision Making: A Practical Tip

Case 5.1: Freak Dancing

Case 5.2 Sexual Harassment

Case 5.3: Late Again

Case 5.4: Excessive Force?

Case 5.5 Discord and Disharmony

Case 5.6: Superintendent’s Hiring Dilemma

Case 5.7: Electives

Case 5.8: Sour Notes

Case 5.9: Zero Tolerance Policy: The Eagle Scout

Case 5.10: The Slap

Case 5.11: Low Expectations, Poor Performance

Case 5.12: Kinky Hair

Case 5.13: The Reluctant Assistant

Case 5.14: The Setup

Case 5.15: Dropped for a Loss


Chapter 6: Shared Decision Making: A Comprehensive Model

Managing Participation: Enhancing Quality and Acceptance

Decision Making Styles

Decision Making Trees

Case 6.1: The Curriculum Dilemma: A Group Problem

Analyzing the Case: The Curriculum Dilemma

Individual Problems

Case 6.2: The Secretary’s Office: An Individual Problem

Analyzing the Case: The Secretary’s Office

Summary and Cautions

Case 6.3: The Parking Lot


Chapter 7: Shared Decision-Making: A Simplified Model

Zone of Acceptance


Directing Participation: Administrative Roles

Using the Model

Case 7.1: The Curriculum Dilemma: A Group Problem Revisited

Analyzing the Case: The Curriculum Dilemma

Discussion: A Preference for Action

Case 7.2: The Secretary’s Office: An Individual Problem Revisited

Analyzing the Case: The Secretary’s Office

A Comparison

Another Application

Case 7.3: Computer Purchasing Problem

Analyzing the Case: A Theory-Driven Student Analysis

Summary and Cautions

Case 7.4: Teacher Tardiness


Chapter 8: Decision Making: Final Cases

Subordinate Participation: A Comparison

Which Model?

Case 8.1: Administrative Communication

Case 8.2: Principal’s In-Service

Case 8.3: Parent Complaint

Case 8.4: The Hiring Problem

Case 8.5: The Advisory Council

Case 8.6: Student Athletes

Case 8.7: Subversive Web Page

Case 8.8: Grading Policy

Case 8.9: Honest Reporting

Case 8.10: Double Entendre

Case 8.11: Special Education

Case 8.12: Just Change It

Case 8.13: Appropriate Attire

Case 8.14: Professional Dilemma

Case 8.15: Intellectual Property

Case 8.16: Grade Change

Case 8.17: The Staffing Problem

Case 8.18: New Department Chair

Case 8.19: Assistant Dean

Case 8.20: The Dean’s Advisory Council


Chapter 9: Putting it All Together

Case 9.1: Redistricting

Suggestions for a Group Project

Other Suggested Activities





New to this edition

• A contingency model of decision making is developed to guide students to appropriately match  decision strategies with the specific problem at hand (Ch. 5).

• Nine common traps of decision making are revealed and suggestions for avoiding and escaping these traps are offered (Ch 2).

•Two dozen new studies on decision-making strategies are added to the analyses throughout the text.

•New, contemporary cases throughout the text provide students with the opportunity to learn from and deal with the most current issues in schools, such as violence, curriculum issues, participative management, sexual harassment, dirty dancing and accountability.

Features & benefits
  • Guiding questions in all chapters focus students on specific problems and tasks.
  • Chapter 7 presents a simplified model of shared decision-making.
  • A demonstration and comparison of eight decision models reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each (Ch. 5).
  • Expert analyses of actual cases in five chapters demonstrate the utility of various theories.
  • Provides concrete examples of theory into practice in all chapters.
  • Higher Education cases have been added to broaden the scope of the book in response to the emphasis on Higher Education in many schools.
  • Discussion of decision-making heuristics is incorporated to emphasize student analysis.
  • Provides an analysis of mindful organizational structures.
  • The final chapter encourages cooperative learning by incorporating a comprehensive case study to be handled as a group project.