Study On The Management Of Communication Relationships In Some School Organizations
Performing the management of education institutions becomes a more and more complex activity. Among the most appreciated skills of the school principal there is their capacity to manage the communication relationships at the level of the institution they manage. The target group of this research consists of 30 students in the master's program Educational management in our university. The learners attending it are already teachers so that they can constitute a desirable experimental group providing both information on the manner in which acting school principals understand communication relationships and information on their expectations, as teachers, from their principals. Research questions: Do teachers perceive the existence of certain defining behaviors for performing a management of communication relationships? Which is the expectation level of teachers as a consequence of the principal’s exercise of the functions associated to the management of communication relationships? Research methodology. Two questionnaires were applied: a. Questionnaire on identifying the perceptions of the teaching staff regarding the principals’ exercise of certain communication relationships management; b. Questionnaire on identifying the expectation level of teachers related to the exercise of the functions specific to the management of communication relationships of the school principal. Research results. Teachers have high expectations regarding the exercise by the principals of certain functions specific to ensuring the management of communication relationships even if they cannot explicitly define this concept. The results of test t for mean comparison, t (29) = 36.887, p≤0.00, which means that the difference between means 9.90 is statistically significant.
Keywords: Educational managementmanagement of communication relationshipsperceptions on the management of communication relationships
In the last decades there was a special concern to make the manner in which schools are managed
more efficient and, in connection with this problem, to highlight the qualities the school principal should
have. From this perspective Rhines Cheney G., Davis J., Garrett K., Holleran J. define the skills of the
school manager as the set of skills, knowledge, and dispositions that a principal must have, in his or her
context, in order to lead a school effectively to drive high levels of student achievement for all children.
(2010, p. 16). Among such capacities, the skills to improve the school climate, organize teacher
participation in a forum that would involve teachers in a dialogue about different aspects of school
specific activities or about some administrative tasks (Williams, 2006, p. 100) have a special place. In
essence it is about the principal’s capacity to determine and maintain good communication relationships
in the school educational environment. Romanian research confirms such approach, claiming that the
successful principal is the principal with good communication, relationship building and negotiation skills
(The Institute of Education Sciences, 2012, p.11). In Romania, the interest for this problem exceeded the
stage of purely declarative opinions through the issuance of an order of the Minister of Education
(no.5549 of October 6, 2011) proposing the establishment of a national body of experts in educational
management. Consequently, from that moment, a series of training programs for the acting school
principals or for the persons targeting such position were organized. The mentioned programs fall under
the category named
(according to Bologna), respectively –
management in an education school unit is a particular problem – little covered by specialty works.
Purpose of the Study
Starting from the empirical observation: communication relationships “happen” even when they
are not (well) managed, we wonder: is there a specific management of communication relationships?
This question leads to another reflection: is it possible that someone be a good communicator (easily
establish interactions to the others and have the capacity to maintain himself/herself in balanced
relationships with his/her fellow human beings) without having, at the same time, the capacity to transfer
such skills to the members of a group he/she manages? The clarification of such aspects may be useful in
an education school unit management field where the school principal is considered responsible for the
quality of the relationships that are established among team members and for the quality of the
psychosocial climate existent in such organization. The purpose of the study we present below is to
identify the manner in which certain teachers in several schools in the Argeș County, Romania, perceive
their principals’ capacity to ensure the management of communication relationships in the school units
they run, analyzing their expectations in this respect.
We define the communication relationships management concept as the ensemble of the activities
related to the design/planning, organization, management, coordination, adjustment and control of the
quality of interactions and communicative relationships occurring among the actors of the pedagogical
relationship in a school context (Iucu, R., Ezechil, L., Chivu, R. , 2008, p. 418).
Design and argumentation of the applied methodology
From the abovementioned definition, certain behavioral descriptors which are relevant for the
school principal’s exercise of certain functions which can be associated to the management of
communication relationships were derived,
The school principal:
1.periodically designs/plans activities and meetings whose purpose is to strengthen the interactions
and good communication relationships among the members of the teaching staff;
2.establishes himself/herself detailed plans for the organization and performance of certain
activities whose purpose is to improve the communication relationships among the members of
the school organization;
3.manages himself/herself certain activities whose purpose is to determine interactions between
people and optimize interpersonal communication relationships;
4.coordinates the activity of several work groups, monitoring the quality of the communication
relationships that are established between people at their level;
5.intervenes when the good communication relationships between people deteriorate providing
solutions to defuse conflict conditions and reestablish balance.
We use these behavioral descriptors as a referential with the role of drawing attention on the
possibilities to derive the communication relationships management functions from some of the most
important general school management functions. The described behaviors highlight, on the other hand,
the constant concern of the principal to establish and maintain good communication relationships among
the members of the teaching staff. It also supposes that the principal does not wait for the communication
relationships to deteriorate to intervene in order to correct them but acts preventatively.
The experimental group
The Group is formed of 30 students, trainees of the Educational management master course. All these
subjects are already teachers in the education system and shall have big chances to exercise the school
principal position after the completion of the master program. Master students were put in the situation of
comparing the capacity of their actual heads (school principals) to ensure the
reflection on such behavior types will determine the nowadays master students (who will be school
principals at a certain moment) to better manage the communication relationships that are established in a
The research questions were formulated in agreement with the purpose of the study and with the needs
to develop master students’ skills in the communication relationships management field,
1. Do teachers perceive the existence of certain defining behaviors for performing a management of
communication relationships? (The point of this question is to find out the extent to which respondents
are aware of the specific nature of the communication relationships management).
2. Which is the expectation level of teachers as a consequence of the principal’s exercise of the various
functions associated to the management of communication relationships?
In our opinion, when the behaviors of the school principal are according to the subordinates’
expectations their satisfaction degree increases and – in connection to it – the master students’ capacity to
promote similar behaviors and attitudes also increases.
Two questionnaires were applied to the 30 master students:
1. Questionnaire on identifying the perceptions of the teaching staff regarding the
principals’ exercise of certain communication relationships management functions at the level of
the school organization. This questionnaire is focused on the analysis by the master students of
the manner in which their school principals ensure the management of communication
relationships in the school units they manage.
2. Questionnaire on identifying the expectation level of teachers related to the exercise of
the functions specific to the management of communication relationships of the school principal.
This questionnaire type puts master students in the situation of becoming aware of their own
expectations regarding the manners of ensuring the management of communication relationships
in an education school unit.
The basic observable indicators for the appearance of the positive expected effects are: the
coherence of intentions, the coherence of taken actions and the coherence of obtained results. Table
presents information on the number of respondents (30), the mean obtained by them regarding the
assessments on a scale from 1 to 5 of the manner in which the teaching staff perceive the exercise by the
principal of certain communication relationships management functions at the level of the school
organization (9.90), the standard deviation of such mean and the standard error, but also information on
the mean obtained by the same respondents, regarding the assessments on a scale from 1 to 5 of their
expectations in relation to the exercise of the communication relationships management functions of the
school principal (22.33), the standard deviation of such mean and the standard error (Labăr, 2008, p. 95-
0.00, which means that the mean difference 9.900 is statistically significant.
communication relationships management functions of the school principal.
perceptions on the exercise by the school principal of certain communication relationships management
functions and the level of their expectations in connection with the exercise of communication
relationships management functions.
The results of this research indicate that teachers have expectations as regards the exercise by the
school principal of communication relationships management functions which are higher than their
perceptions regarding the exercise of certain functions of the principal as regards communication
relationships in the school. In other words, respondents expected the school principal to better manage the
communication relationships established between the members of the teaching staff finding-when
necessary-solutions to mediate and negotiate the conflicts occurring at the level of the groups in the
school institution. The low scores at the questionnaire on identifying the perceptions of the teaching staff
regarding the principals’ exercise of certain communication relationships management functions indicate
that the managers in the school institution have training needs in the communication relationships
optimization field at the level of the school organization. The fact that in the opinion of the 30
respondents item “your principal periodically designs/plans activities and meetings” has a low score, and
item “the interest which the school principal grants to the quality of communication relationships” has a
high score leads to the identification of a reality that also reveals the existence of certain lacks in the
communication relationships management field in the schools the master students come from.
Please note that the article does not intend to detail the specific nature of all possible
communication relationships achieved in a school context, but exclusively focuses on the quality of the
communication relationships that are established between the school principal and employees. These
relationships were analyzed based on the filters created by the expectations subordinates have to their
chief and based on the effects they determine on the members of the teaching staff. The authors’ research
interests were determined by the specificity of the
focused on the development of trainees’ skills – who are teachers themselves! - to run an education
school unit. The management of communication relationships was defined from the perspective of the
roles a school principal has in the field of designing, coordinating, intervening and correcting the
the school environment;
- Iucu, R., Ezechil, L., Chivu, R., (2008), Managementul clasei de elevi. Fundamente teoretico-metodologice, În: Pregătirea psihopedagogică. Manual pentru definitivat și gradul didactic II, coord. Dan Potolea, Ioan Neacșu, Romiță B Iucu, Ion – Ovidiu Pânișoară, Polirom Publishing House.
- Labăr, A.V., (2008) SPSS pentru ştiinţele educaţiei, p. 95-102, Porlirom Publishing House, Iaşi.
- Rhines, C. G., Davis J., Garrett K., Holleran J., (2010), A New Approach to Principals Preparation, Rainwater Charitable Foundation 777 Main Street, Suite 2250 Fort Worth, TX 76102, http://www.anewapproach.org/docs/a_new_approach.pdf, accessed on August 14, 2016.
- .*** The Institute of Education Sciences, Romania, (2012), Dezvoltarea profesională a personalului de conducere al unităţilor şcolare de nivel preuniversitar printr-un program complex de consiliere şi asistenţă în mediu online, Source: http://www.ise.ro/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Consiliere_manageri.pdf, accessed on August 5, 2016.
- Williams, Ed. E. Jr., (2006), "Teachers' perceptions of principal leadership in relation to student achievement". ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. Paper AAI3258821, Source:http://digitalcommons.auctr.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1115&context=dissertatio ns, accessed on August 18, 2016
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
About this article
Cite this paper as:
Click here to view the available options for cite this article.