The Principal as a Decision Maker.
A school principal is an education administrator who oversees the day to day operations of the school. He or she offers instructional leadership to everyone in the school. These include the administrative staff, faculty and students. The role of a school principal is that of a guide to the students as well as a disciplinarian. There is much more to the position than that, however it is a complex job that offers numerous challenges, each day different from the day before. The principal acts as the manager as well as the highest decision maker of the entire institution. Although school policies can be dictated by the principal, he or she does not have ultimate authority in that regard. The principal must, after all, listen to the needs and demands of the school board, parents and students. To this end, the principal must regularly meet with parents and address their many questions and concerns before taking any sensitive decisions on issues relating to them. Decision making is one of the most important roles of the school principal. Every administrative act, whether it concerns students, programmes, staff, services or resources requires making decisions. Decision making precisely is an act of choice between alternative courses of action. To be able to decide on what action to take on any administrative matter, the school principal needs to know not only the various alternative actions that exist, but also what type of decision to make, who should make the decision, how the decision should be made and how decisions would be carried out effectively. The process of decision making in school administration is a strong factor in determining the nature of leadership, the levels of authority, the span of control, the degree of participation and or cooperation, the level of supportiveness among the members, and the possibility that decisions will be carried out. There are several ways of describing or analysing decision making, but generally, the major issues in decision making analysis and study include: What type of decision? Who makes or who should make decisions at what level? How are decisions made?
The major decision making issues as follows:
Types of Decisions
There are various ways of describing the types of decisions. McFarland (1964) classified decisions under (a) Organizational and personal decisions (b) Basic and routine decisions (c) Programmed and Non-programmed decisions. Griffiths (1958) categorized decisions under ‘’Intermediary’’ decision (from top management downward), ‘’Appellate’’ decision (from subordinate upward) and ‘’Creative’’ decisions (from any member of the group as a result of insight or creativity).
Organizational and Personal Decision
Any decision made by the principal may be organizational or personal decision. An organizational decision is that decision is that decision made or delegated by the school principal while acting in his/her capacity or position; but a decision becomes a personal decision when it is made in the personal capacity of the officer e.g. the decision to resign from office. Both decisions are closely related because a personal decision can affect the organization and an organizational decision can affect the private lives of the individuals.
Basic and Routine Decisions
Basic decisions are those important decisions that affect the goals, functions or the services of an organization. Basic decisions may concern issues like policies, large-scale plans or investments, student enrolment, staffing, school plant etc. Routine decisions, on the other hand are minor day to day decisions taken in a school. They include decisions by individual teachers in their classrooms, the daily arrangement of school activities, permission to students etc. Routine decisions usually do not require elaborate consultation or even any group participation.
Programmed and Non-programmed Decision
This is essentially similar to the implications of the Basic and...
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