Read the scenario, choose which of the models you would use in decision-making, answer the questions at the end of each scenario, and say how

Read the scenario, choose which of the models you would use in decision-making, answer the questions at the end of each scenario, and say how you would solve the situation going through the steps of your selected model. Decision making models are classical, administrative, mixed scanning, incremental, garbage can, and political. Discussion questions to answer: decision making model would you use for this case? Is there another way out, or does the buck stop with Kerner? How important is her decision here? Is this a win-win situation? Or perhaps a lose-lose one? To what extent is this a political decision? Anticipate the negative consequences of Kerner’s decision and make plans to mute them. 98 TABLE 5.1 Comparison of Decision-Making Models ——-—-——-———————-———-—— CLASSICAL ADMINISTRATIVE MIXED SCANNING INCREMENTAL GARBAGE CAN POLITICAL Setting goals Organizational Objectives usually Policy guidelines Objectives and ObjectiVes emerge Objectives emerge objectives are are set prior to are set prior to alternatives spontaneously spontaneously
set prior to alternatives alternatives are intertwined but are personal
Means—ends Always begins Frequently begins Broad ends and No means—ends Means and ends Personal ends .
analysis with a means— with a means—ends tentative means analysis; means are independent; determine organi-
ends analysis analysis, but occa- focus the analysis and ends are not chance connects zational means
sionally ends change separable them
Test of a The best means A satisfactory A satisfactory Decision makers Participants agree Personal
good decision to an organiza— organizational organizational agree that the that solution and objectives are
tional end outcome outcome decisions are in problem match accomplished
the right direction
Decision Optimizing Satisficing Adaptive Successive Connecting by Politicking
process organizational satisficing comparing chance to achieve
goals personal ends
Alternative Find and consider Search for a Limit search to Limit search to Scan for a match Find personal
search all the alternatives reasonable set alternatives close alternatives close among solutions, satisfying
of alternatives to the problem to the problem problems, and alternatives
Underpinning Theory Theory and Theory, experience, Experience and Chance Power
experience and comparison comparison
Perspective Normative ideal Descriptive and Descriptive and Descriptive Descriptive Descriptive
normative normative _-_—_—_——’—— USING THE BEST MODEL: PRACTICE CASES
CASE 5.6
Superintendent’s ring Dilemma
Superintendent of schools Mary Beth Kerner once again looked through the
pile of resumes on the desk before her. She was under pressure from the
board of education to hire a new high school principal who could replace
Jimmy Johnson, who had been the venerated principal of Kingston gh
School for twenty-eight years. Kingston, a college community, is located in a
large northeastern state and is the home of a prestigious private university.
The board places a heavy demand on the school system in its insistence that
the school offer what is essentially a college preparatory program. There is,
however, a substantial minority population that has become increasingly
vocal in its demands for a more comprehensive curriculum. The list of griev-
ances is long and growing: lack of concern for the non-college-bound stu-
dent; lack of minority teachers serving as role models, no African American
administrators in the district, an unofficial tracking program that gives
resources to the college prep curriculum and deprives the other programs,
not enough concern for poor performance of minority students, and a snob-
bery among the students that offends the less advantaged.
The school board is also undergoing change. The past board had been
d with the number of students accepted at good colleges, the consis-
tently high SAT scores of students, their numerous winners of the Westing-
house awards for science, and a recent article citing the school as the best in
the state. The board was comprised of four men and five women, eight whites
and an Asian. The president of the board was a professor of sociology at the
local university. Two of the five women were spouses of successful profes-
sional leaders in the community and were committed to serving the school
and community; the other three were a college professor at the state univer-
sity, an owner of a local business, and a realtor. The additional three men were
a successful attorney, a mathematics professor at the university, and a com-
munity college professor. This was a professional board of education; it was
the board that had hired Dr. Kerner six years ago. They had given her early
tenure in her position and the accolades and the salary that go with success.
But things were changing at Kingston. The African American commu-
nity was increasingly disillusioned with a school system that paid little
attention to their needs. They did, after all, represent 25 percent of the popu-
lation. The parents had mobilized, formed an African-American Alliance for
Progress, and elected two of their own to represent their interests on the
board. One, who replaced the attorney, was the minister of the local Baptist
congregation. The other was an outspoken woman, a parent of three school-
age children. She replaced the wife of a socially prominent banker. The new
board was sensitive to the demands of a hitherto unheard minority. At the
first board meeting, the newly elected members demanded change; they
wanted an African American high school principal, more minority teachers,
and a curriculum that realistically addressed the needs of their children.
Their top priority was clear: the principalship. The board in general was not
opposed to hiring a minority principal; in fact, most agreed it was a good 102
idea. However, they were adamant in their desire to get an educator of
the highest standing with impeccable credentials; quality was the ultimate
William Levine had been the popular vice-principal for six years.
Dr. Levine had had numerous opportunities to move on, but he was always
reminded by his principal that his future was in Kingston. "Bill, don’t move.
I’ll be retiring in a few years, and the job is yours." He had heard that refrain
at least three times in the past six years. At last the opportunity was here, but
now there were complications.
Levine was something of a scholar in his own right. He graduated from
Harvard with a major in history, received a master’s in political science from
the University of Chicago, and went back to Harvard for his doctorate in
educational administration. s academic career had been interrupted with
teaching stints at Phillips Andover as well as in the public schools of gh-
land Park, Illinois. He was a successful teacher and administrator. Students
liked him, faculty liked and respected him, and his fellow administrators
seemed at times in awe of his abilities. He was a skillful and dynamic leader.
Clearly, he was ready to assume the principalship at Kingston. In fact, it was
a foregone conclusion that William Levine would be the next principal. The
sudden death of the former principal in an auto accident had saddened the
district and the school and propelled Levine into the role of acting principal,
the job that everyone assumed was his permanently. That was before the
board election. Now what?
Dr. Kerner, herself, at times had implied to William Levine that he
would be the next principal at Kingston gh School. He had every right to
expect to be appointed the next principal, she thought, as she pondered her
next steps. Things were not so simple. She concluded that an open search for
the new principal was not only desirable but necessary.
The board balked at hiring professional consultants to carry out a
national search for the principal. The two new members of the board wanted
to be involved directly in the search and selection of the new principal. Con-
sequently, a five-member search committee was appointed; it included the
two new board members. Its charge was to find the best possible principal
for Kingston. After a long and exhaustive search, which involved screening
hundreds of applications, conducting several scores of interviews, and hold-
ing repeat interviews with five finalists, two people remained in considera-
tion: William Levine and Roger Washington.
Levine’s work at Kingston had reinforced its academic prominence.
He had been successful in involving the local university with a variety of
advanced placement courses, and some of the Kingston students moved eas-
ily between the classrooms at Kingston and well-equipped laboratories of a
highly competitive university. Levine was aware of the limitations of the cur-
riculum for some of the students, but he felt that the hard work and the excel-
lence of college-bound Kingston students should be rewarded.
Roger Washington had been a principal for three years in a middle
school in a large northeastern city. He had built a reputation as a no-nonsense
administrator respected by both students and faculty. Parents marveled at his
ability to handle kids. During his tenure as principal, he had reorganized the USING THE BEST MODEL: PRACTICE CASES
curriculum, increased the school averages on standardized tests, and reduced
the student absentee rate by 40 percent. He was an articulate young man,
committed to the problems of minorities. He saw in Kingston an opportunity
to a group of children who were not being served.
As was Levine, so too was Washington an anomaly in school circles.
He had been a scholarship student at the University of California, Berkeley,
where he had graduated with honors in a double major of mathematics and
physics. In the course of graduate education at the University of Michigan,
he had worked with local schools and found, he felt, a calling. He became a
high school science teacher and gradually rose through positions of increase
ing responsibility.
Either Levine or Washington would be a good choice for the school,
but the decision as to who was the better probably hinged on their respective
interviews. Levine held that the school should continue to focus on the excel-
lent job it was doing with high-achieving students and devote resources to
the middle- and lower-range students as a secondary focus. It was not the
case that Levine was indifferent to these lower-performing students, rather it
was a conviction that the school’s emphasis on academic quality had paid off
for hard-working high-achieving students.
Washington also considered the school’s success with the high achiev-
ers important; however, he felt that the school’s emphasis should be placed on
those students who really needed a more intensive education than they were
now receiving. Washington advocated shifting some of the school’s resources
away from the faster tracks to the other sectors of the school. Not to do this, he
argued, would deprive the slower students. Washington believed strongly in
education for the gifted, but not to the degree he found at Kingston. He
thought the school had an obligation in justice to shift its focus.
The board recognized the problem presented by the views of Levine
and Washington. They seemed unable to come to a decision on which to
hire; they were deadlocked-four for Washington, four for Levine, and one
who abstained, saying that either was a good choice. Finally, after long
debate, they called in Dr. Kerner. "Mary Beth," said the president of the
board, "whoever is hired will have to work with you. we need now is a
strong recommendation and rationale. We all agree that you are critical in
this decision and we trust your judgment. is your recommendation in
this case?"
Discussing the Case
decision-making model would you use for this case?
Is there another way out, or does the buck stop with Kerner?
How important is her decision here?
Is this a win-win situation? Or perhaps a lose-lose one?
To what extent is this a political decision?
Anticipate the negative consequences of Kerner’s decision and make plans to
mute them.

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