This paper aims to examine the causal relationship between school management practices and teacher participation in decision-making. Teacher participation in decision-making is one of the recommendations under the school-based management policy, which aims to provide teachers with more opportunities to become involved in decision-making. Although teacher participation in decision-making has been identified to be one of the key characteristics of an effective school, few researches were attempted to explore the management practices that could promote teacher participation in decision-making. This study intend to identify the decision domains that would guide school administrators involve teachers in decision making effectively. The theoretical framework of the study was theoretically constructed and empirically validated. Organization theory of loose-tight coupling in school management and bi-dimensional participatory model were adopted for constructing the theoretical framework. 388 teachers from 20 aided secondary schools in Hong Kong took part in the questionnaire survey of this study. A bi-dimensional participatory model includes pedagogical and managerial decision domains and a model of loose-tight management practices includes bureaucratic control and professional autonomy was theoretically and empirically identified by structural equation modeling. Results showed that there are predictive effects of bureaucratic control and professional autonomy on the involvement of teachers in pedagogical and managerial decision domains. This study contributes theoretically to our knowledge of the relationship between management practices and teacher involvement, and proposes practically a model for school administrators to promote teacher participation under school based management policy. Shared decision making could be a way to reconcile the bureaucratic-professional conflict in school organization.
|Published - 2008