Who Ya Gonna Call? Networks of Rural School Administrators

Julie M. Hite, Bart Reynolds, Steven J. Hite

Abstract


When they need help or advice, who are rural school administrators going to call? Relationships among rural school administrators develop into networks that can affect the success of administrators and their schools. Understanding the structure and content of these networks provides insights into how resources, innovations, and communication flow both within and between rural district administrators. Based on network theory and analysis, this study examines the structure, content, and strategic implications of the administrative networks within and across six contiguous rural school districts in the Western United States. Network graphs are included, illustrating both individual district and the combined six-district rural administrator networks. While acquaintance ties and active work ties are evident both within and across districts, relationally embedded ties and greater cohesion of ties are more evident within districts than across districts. Analyses include consideration of administrative assignment, gender, and geographical location of the network structures. Strategic implications of the network structures and content are discussed.

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