The role of communications in a comprehensive school.

  • Howard Fried-Booth

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The thesis details the empirical research undertaken to establish factors which influenced the communication of information relevant to a number of decisions made in a large comprehensive school. The level of decision making considered is that within the semi-autonomous limits of the school. A committee composed of Heads of' Department and Senior House Staff is the subject of the research. Consideration is given to the influence on, and influencing nature of the decisions made and the decision makers in the committee. The communications examined range from written material through to the perceptions of the recipients and transmitters of information. Three methods are employed to derive information; records of meetings, personal interviews and a repertory grid technique. The members of the committee were involved in both the analysis and synthesis of the material gained from the first two research methods. The derivation of material from many sources and the involvement of participants in the synthesis of important aspects of the situation provide contextual validity in the results. The employment of three methods, all aiming to produce authentic qualitative data, provides convergent validity to the material. Consideration is given to the theoretical aspects of qualitative research and case studies in investigations into organisations and their management. The results indicate a limited consideration of information prior to a decision being made. The major influencing factors are found to be the perception by staff of individuals involved in the decision making process and the presentation of oral information by staff. This is particularly so in the case of the Headmaster whose use of techniques to maintain his position is indicative of a power culture.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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