Accountability, Its use as a strategy in the management of school teaching staff

Wallis, William George Kendall (1993). Accountability, Its use as a strategy in the management of school teaching staff. MPhil thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000ff1e

Abstract

In this thesis. I have examined some of the ways in which the notion of accountability appears to influence the management of school teaching staff.
As a background to this analysis I have referred, both to the literature appertaining to management and to those broader sociological traditions that have concerned themselves with questions of authority and order. From this general theoretical background I isolate a number of forms of accountability, noting how these are capable of both independent influence and more complex, compound modes of operation.
In an attempt to provide illustrative examples of many of these aspects of accountability I have examined four case studies. Each of these is based upon a formal dispute, involving both head and assistant teachers.
From this analysis I develop a range of points, these leading to a number of tentative conclusions. Most important of these, concerns the distinction between accountability as a means of motivating action and as a way of retrospectively explaining, justifying and ultimately legitimating actions. In examining these various manifestations of accountability, I refer, both to the theoretical basis and to the operational characteristics of the concept, developing such notions as the nature of managerial strategy and the influence of micro politics.
The case study work helps to show how this division, between accountability as a motivating force and, as a means to explanation, is not a simple division, but one based upon a complex relationship that is both confused and confusing.

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