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The adoption of recommended administrative practices by directors of public school adult education in the province of British Columbia Anderson, Darrell V.

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the behavior of directors of public school adult education in British Columbia, as adopting agents within a structured social system. Thus both personal characteristics of this official as well as situational and structural features of his organizational system were analyzed in order to determine the relative impact of these sets of variable on his adoption behavior. A crucial question to be determined was whether the director is more influenced in his adoption behavior by systems features or by his own personal characteristics. She sample consisted of the sixty-six directors who held that position during 1969-70 term. An analytical survey method was used, with a structured interview employed to gather data from each director. Initially, thirty-four personal characteristics of the director and thirty-seven systems factors were examined relative to the adoption of. twenty-six administrative practices. The dependent variable of the study was comprised of a total adoption score for each director calculated on the stage of the adoption process reached by the director for each of the twenty-six practices. At first, frequency distributions of the general characteristics of the sample were examined and then the t-test and F test were employed to determine the degree of relationship of the mean adoption scores among the directors. Multiple Regression analysis was used in the second stage of the analysis to determine the proportion of variation in adoption explained by thirty-four significant independent variables. Throughout several phases of the regression analysis, one factor consistently accounted for 54.3 per cent of the variance in adoption scores. That factor was the Amount of Time the Director was Officially Employed to Carry Out His Duties. Thus a work-situational element basically attributable to the organizational system emerged as the most significant variable as far as the variance in adoption scores was concerned, indicating that the director is more influenced in his adoption behavior by a systems factor than by his own personal characteristics. Two such characteristics, the director's professional participation score and work satisfaction score together accounted for no more than seven per cent of the variance in adoption scores. The adoption of the recommended administrative practices investigated in this study was largely a reflection of the director's administrative competence and professionalism. A necessary prerequisite to development in these areas was provided by appointing the director to a full-time position and by supplying him with other organizational supports.

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