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Siciliano, Michael D. (2012) NETWORKS AND PERFORMANCE IN PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS: THEORY, MODELS, AND MEASUREMENT. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study explores the antecedents of intra-organizational networks and the consequences of network structure on the attitudes and performance of public school teachers in twenty-one schools. On the antecedent side, the relationships among teacher social networks, teacher attributes, and interpersonal perceptions were assessed. The results, based on a meta-analysis of each school's statistical model, indicate that teacher interpersonal perceptions along eleven salient personality traits were important predictors of network formation. The results point toward the significance of psychological and cognitive factors in network formation that are often overlooked in structural analysis.
Network autocorrelation models were used to assess how the attitudes and beliefs of a teacher's peers in the advice and friendship networks influence the teacher's own attitudes and beliefs. While the total quantity of network activity was shown to have little effect on measures of self-efficacy and organizational commitment, the quality of one's social connections was strongly predictive. For student engagement efficacy, classroom management efficacy, instructional strategy efficacy, and organizational commitment, teachers were positively influenced by the efficacy and commitment beliefs of their peers in the advice network. Therefore, it was not simply the number of connections a teacher formed in a network that was important but rather the attitudes and beliefs held by those social connections. Analysis revealed that friendship ties, which are capable of transmitting negative dialogue and sentiment, can potentially have a detrimental influence on efficacy and commitment when those ties do not coexist with advice ties.
Value-added measures of teacher performance were built to measure the gain in student test scores that could be attributed to a particular teacher. Statistical models showed that two variables were significant and positive predictors of both math and reading value-added: the amount of reflective dialogue in the school and the organizational commitment of a teacher's peers. The latter variable suggests that teacher performance is driven by social connections to strongly committed coworkers rather than one's own sense of organizational commitment. Overall, the study provides strong evidence of the importance of social connections within schools and suggests that current policy aimed at creating greater levels of competition among teachers in schools may be counterproductive as competition can hinder collaboration.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Siciliano, Michael D.mds55@pitt.eduMDS55
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairComfort, Louiselkc@pitt.eduLKC
Committee MemberKrackhardt, David
Committee MemberDunn, William N.
Committee MemberGomez, Louis
Date: 27 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 July 2012
Approval Date: 27 September 2012
Submission Date: 16 August 2012
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 233
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public Administration; Education Policy; Social Network Analysis; Teacher Collaboration; Social Capital; Public Policy
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 16:49
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:02


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