Uploaded by Yahya Addison

Abstract - MSc Dissertation - Resource Dependency Theory in Islamic Schools

For any educational institution, resources are required to operationalize its mission. In
some cases the education provider has virtually complete control over its resources, from
production and acquisition through allocation; but in most circumstances, the resources
originate from outside the organization. According to a micropolitical understanding of
educational management, it is assumed that funding constituencies will likely have competing
interests (Hall 1999:62), some of which may conflict with the organization's mission and/or
sense of professionalism (Bush, 1999:7).
Levačić (2000:6) states that the more an
organization depends upon support from stakeholders for resources, the more its success and
survival depend on providing services those stakeholders demand; an observation reflected in
what is termed 'resource dependency theory'.
For small religious schools, preservation of their mission against such forces is
essential as studies have found their missions to be a great source of their success. This study
investigates the extent to which claims as to the existence of resource dependency theory are
supported in theoretical and empirical literature and aimed to establish the extent to which it
was at play in two Islamic schools in the United States and Arab Levant. The study utilizes a
mixed-methods approach, attempting to portray a multitude of voices through questionnaires
and interviews in hopes of portraying an accurate picture of the interactions between
resources, stakeholders, and decision-making in these two schools. The impression achieved
from the literature and these data is that mission, while often threatened by resource
dependency, can also be a source of preservation from its negative effects if clearly articulated
and sufficiently supported by community members. Furthermore, it was found that, in these
schools, typical dependencies upon finances did not play much of a role in affecting decisionmaking of the school; rather, there was a significant shift in reception of voice and, thus, roles
in decision-making towards the most scarce resource needed for school operations: qualified
and dedicated teaching professionals.