The Management of Power and Ethics in Higher Education

Rubi Peniche Cetzal, Victor Rosario Muñoz, Elia Marum Espinosa, Cristóbal Ramón Mac

  Open Access OPEN ACCESS  Peer Reviewed PEER-REVIEWED

The Management of Power and Ethics in Higher Education

Rubi Peniche Cetzal1,, Victor Rosario Muñoz2, Elia Marum Espinosa2, Cristóbal Ramón Mac1

1Faculty of Education, Autonomous University of Yucatan, Merida, Mexico

2Community College of Administrative and Economic Sciences, University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico


This study aimed to determine the presence of micropolitics in an institution of higher education in the educational community, located in the eastern state of Yucatan, Mexico, focused on two areas: the management of power and ethics of the participants.Organizations exist for a reality of daily interactions of people struggling to put their own interests, but this should not be allowed to forget the human factor that everyone should consider. Do not forget that human beings, beings who will become the foundation of society, and that may be the ones to conform or direct social groups to which they belong now are educated. Apparently disciplinary groups combined in its essence both sociological aspects as academics, recognizable in the close relationship of their negotiations or scope, according to their resources that count. There may be specific to a field that includes a mooring of meanings and social interactions structural conditions. Teachers who have long been performing in the organization, they want to continue staying with increasing benefits; those that carry less time, subsisting with intent to occupy a privileged place and recognized. This entails all the dynamics of school micropolitics. Everything is a function of the interest, which in many cases render material and symbolic type.

Cite this article:

  • Cetzal, Rubi Peniche, et al. "The Management of Power and Ethics in Higher Education." American Journal of Educational Research 3.4 (2015): 456-459.
  • Cetzal, R. P. , Muñoz, V. R. , Espinosa, E. M. , & Mac, C. R. (2015). The Management of Power and Ethics in Higher Education. American Journal of Educational Research, 3(4), 456-459.
  • Cetzal, Rubi Peniche, Victor Rosario Muñoz, Elia Marum Espinosa, and Cristóbal Ramón Mac. "The Management of Power and Ethics in Higher Education." American Journal of Educational Research 3, no. 4 (2015): 456-459.

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1. Introduction

In conducting a review of the literature concerning specifically educational social organizations, there is an omnipresence of micropolitics in school life. Burns and Stalker (1961) are among the pioneers in considering that organizations are political systems that include both cooperative and conflicting elements also argued that alliances and political obligations were the "currency" of organizational behavior.

With these and other contributions, it was forming the theoretical content of organizational politics, being the same authors set their criteria based on their own research and experiences. Although Iannaccone (1975) was the first to introduce the term micro to mid-70s, went to the late 80s there was a theoretical and empirical work of great impact. Ball (1987), Bacharach & Mitchell (1987), Blase (1987) and Hoyle (1986) pioneered this new area of research. These authors studied political perspectives of school organization that emphasized the analysis at the group level, relationships and negotiating tactics and the conflict in the context of formal decision-making.

And with large foundations made by these pioneers were opened other interests by conducting organizational study with micropolitical approach, a clear example in Spain by Santos Guerra (1994), Bardisa (1997), Gairín and Villa (1999), Murillo, Barrio and Pérez-Albo (1999) and Lorenzo Delgado (2004), to name a few. In England have been made by others, Hallinger (1984), Ball (1987) and Hoyle (1986); in North America have also been some studies in this line of educational policy, being such Leithwood and Montgomery (1982), Murphy and Louis (1994), Bacharach and Iawler (1980) and Blase (1991).

Mexico, despite being poor in studies of this type, has also been some focused on the political aspects of education, and which contains Schmelkes (1999), who studied characteristics including schools, political, educational reform proposals, among others. Cisneros et all (2004) have done in recent years, studies on the formation of primary level school leaders. It is noteworthy that the issue of political and educational micro is scarce, or the worst of unknown cases the research in Mexico, which prevents translate findings or relevant issues in this area.

Given the above, are isolated studies that focus on climate issues and describe organizational culture and educational leadership, there is no conception that these aspects and more are part of a school micropolitics. Still, we could identify a study that sought to correlate the school climate with micro term perceived by teachers in a normal school in the state of Mexico, using fully quantitative techniques.

Since the data presented, is imminent studies of the micro, it seems necessary to lay the foundations of a theory in Mexico, considering that these investigations will identify the internal behavior of school organizations, and so perhaps anticipate these great phenomena reform and educational change.

2. Research Problem

By clearly identifying the need to investigate the insides of educational institutions, the interest of seeing the internal point from another perspective, not being a positivist manner as seen from many years ago, but from a completely naturalistic pattern emerges. If organizations are complex by nature, educational organizations have a particular essence in their daily walk; talking about the formation of human beings, and where every corner that makes this institution represents an important point for achieving the objectives can bear fruit, being a major challenge for society is the judge of iron more interested this is performed.

Speaking of educational micro, you need to touch fibers that may be sensitive in any social organism, and in the case of this study, individuals within the participating school know it's not easy all this gear shaping events. Here perfectly reference to the magnitude of this issue to be addressed is, as an example, sparsely literature reveals what teachers discuss in their class hallways, bathrooms, or what they do to stay at the school management pressure without jeopardizing your job to disagree with measurements taken.

Here are some and perhaps terse situations that may embarrass a teacher if questioned about it, when really the psychology of organizations stated that every individual should speak openly in any situation, as an inherent part of it.

For these reasons, and knowing that such studies in higher education are scarce, and in others not covered by the delicacy of the phenomenon, it is necessary to pose the problem that gives rise to keep this scientific study that would identify the feelings of teachers about their daily work focused on micro and Review reflected by the management of the institution.

The field of study that seeks to address in this research specifically focuses on the following questions:

How is exerted micropolitics in an organization of higher education in the eastern state of Yucatán, Mexico?

Then the problem is set as follows: study of school micropolitics in an organization of higher education, from the opinion and experience of those involved.

After posing the field of study that afflicts the work described, it is necessary to present a guideline to regulate the way you want to ensure the development of research, this being the overall objective that focuses on exploring the micro institutions of higher education in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. Aim of the study.

The presence of the micro in an institution of higher education in the educational community, located in the eastern state of Yucatan, Mexico, focused on a number of areas: management of power and ethics of the participants.

3. Methodology

Based on the stated problem, the research is carried out under a naturalistic perspective, serving a reflective character. The research was a qualitative study and was conducted using a design case study (Stake, 1994). The case was a higher level educational organization located in the east of the state of Yucatan, Mexico. In this study, involved a defined number of subjects (teachers), i.e., a sample was used; to the above, the fundamental criterion was to choose a typical case, but need to provide enrichment to the address of the object of study. To carry out in-depth interviews, we interviewed a total of 12 teachers who fully meet the established criteria.

For the focus group, type of sample was for convenience, because according to Patton (2002) the use of these samples is the selection of cases that are easily accessible and specific for the study under certain conditions, common in studies phenomenological perspective, where the objective is to analyze the meanings that a social group gives particular event. They were determined to subjects who participated in the focus group, considering eight participating teachers.

To address the case already described, it was necessary the different techniques used for data collection, as were two semi-structured interviews (teachers and managers), a focus group with teachers, non-participant observation and content analysis.

4. Results

The power from the teaching perspective.

In exercising the power from the review teacher could identify a number of aspects that determine the feel of these trainers.

a. Apparently, those teachers who demonstrate openness and willingness to work for the benefit of educational policies governing higher education, respect of teaching work, are seen as elements of great relevance and sustenance of the colleges.

These professionals are better placed or recognized by the organization if they have ongoing studies and are affiliated with the state or federal programs that require better professional preparation. In these programs, as PROMEP, CAs, SNI, SEDA, are accompanied by monetary resources that can acquire securities or other. The power is exercised by those who benefit from these programs, which are known relevant for the school, for those who do not.

b. The relational dimension of power is openly characterized in the study, to identify teachers look and feel powerful if you have a close friendship with the authority of the center. It is said that those teachers who demonstrate certain rapprochement with the management center can get some hits and facilities to those who do not.

At times, teachers who do not have this closeness choose a better relationship with the "social" teacher to get some benefits that it can achieve indirectly to others.

c. It turns out that teachers can see others as powerful depending on their acquired training. And it's not just the fact of having a renowned graduate to others, is the domain that may have a discipline because of that preparation has.

It seems that some teachers see colleagues as powerful if they demonstrate a broad knowledge of a particular field to enable them to support others, and that this knowledge is used to benefit the school.

d. A large element as a trigger of power from the teaching perspective, translated to job security or finality of teachers is reflected. Those teachers who have a place they feel strong and brave compared to those who are paid by the hour; the above is demonstrated in situations of conflict and where open expression is required to present ideas or opinions, being clear that supply teachers is withdrawn and spokespersons seek to know your ideas. In contrast, those with a definitive work are stunning before administration, which is accompanied by the support of the union group.

Apparently disciplinary groups combined in its essence both sociological aspects as academics, recognizable in the close relationship of their negotiations or scope, according to their resources that count. There may be specific to a field that includes a mooring of meanings and social interactions structural conditions. Here goes well expressed by Bourdieu (1993, p. 118) commented "is a network or configuration of objective relations between positions occupied by provisions or agents, always in conflict and strife".

Teachers who have long been performing in the organization, they want to continue staying with increasing benefits; those that carry less time, subsisting with intent to occupy a privileged place and recognized. This entails all the dynamics of school micropolitics.

Everything is a function of the interest, which in many cases render material and symbolic type.

5. Conclusion and Future Research

It has been widely analyzed the phenomenon of school micropolitics from a school setting higher level. It is understood that the objectives were defined from the beginning were those who led the study raised here and develops, however, the realization of this project some situations, though, were of great interest and amazement were found not were deepened in the study. That is why, then, a series of proposal is listed as future research emanating from this research, which would extend the understanding of the work in higher education in Mexico.

a. It seems that the issue of Academies (CA) charges a place of great importance for colleges in Mexico. Within education policies governing higher education in the country, the need for a collaborative and ongoing work of teachers, including tasks of teaching, research, among other states. It seems that teachers are aware of the roles they play and the responsibilities they have to cover in their role as trainers, however, appears a phenomenon of interest is the sense of these teachers regarding these necessary tasks of CAs.

It is important to examine in depth the issue of academies in Mexican colleges, because not only speaking of active work, monetary issues that allow the facilities for this to remain and form groups also handled. Scientific work led to the value that teachers give to activities towards the contribution of CA to which they belong is needed.

b. Although in this study the phenomenon of micro addressed in an institution of higher education with the actors involved in this center, as the steering and full professors, worth raising the need to find out what happens to the teachers working at this center but when your type of contract is for hours in front of class.

Although these part-time teachers, as they are called, is not as interference in the organization of the short time they can stay in the organization, they do have contact with other players, so from that moment become individuals who feel and perceive the existential environment in the organization. It is for this reason that seems important to find out what happens with them about school micro- or some influence on teachers or other employees of the establishment in question.

c. The scientific research at the university is one of the responsibilities exercised in such organizations, therefore, the teacher who serves on the upper level, is further blamed on exercise tasks relating to this factor of development in colleges.

In this study it emerged the matter of science as a scenario that causes conflicts between actors, teachers or managers. These conflicts arising by teachers express feelings to try to understand the reason why duty to develop scientific studies. Here the importance of finding this phenomenon as a future field to deepen. It would know if teachers have the skills to work on the issue of research skills also seems necessary to find out whether these activities are conducted with scientific rigor or mere necessity of production.

d. The issue of school leaders is central in academic or scientific events with an educational focus. If you talk about top-level executives, the issue is even more appropriate to address, because he role an individual plays to lead an organization that has a great social impact is discussed. It is therefore suggested to address this phenomenon led to the necessary training of school managers of colleges.

It seems necessary to know if the actors who run the colleges have the skills needed to function in office, whereas at present, higher education organizations have a number of requirements and demands established by educational policies.

e. Conflict resolution in educational organizations requires careful analysis of the situation of each school establishment, especially focused on the integration of social dynamics. This analysis must take into account three basic dimensions: the essence of the conflict, the procedure for seeking solutions and the relationship between the parties.

The weight attributed the conflicting parties to each of these three dimensions gives rise to four approaches to conflict resolution: ignore the essence of the conflict, giving more weight to establish or maintain a good relationship with the other party and not the essence of the conflict, maintaining a good relationship between the parties without sacrificing the legitimate interests.

List of Abbreviations

CA: Academies

SNI: National System of Researchers

SEDA: System to Encourage the Academic Performance

PROMEP: Teacher Improvement Program


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