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Managing teacher balkanization in times of implementing change

Shun‐wing Ng (Department of Educational Policy and Administration, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 20 September 2011




The purpose of this article is to report an exploratory study which was designed to illuminate how school cultures and teachers' value orientations are affected by the educational change of parental involvement.


The qualitative research that informs this paper is conceptualized within the interpretive paradigm. Two schools were selected purposefully for the study. In‐depth interviews with 12 teachers and their principal were conducted in each school where observation took place for half a year. Eventually themes and dimensions of teachers' value demarcations emerged in times of change.


The study demonstrates that three balkanized factions of teachers were wrestling at school. The first balkanized teacher group welcomed the innovation of parental involvement. The second faction of teachers who disbelieved such innovation was found diffident and conservative, and demonstrated resistance to change. The third type of teachers was of a majority who might or might not take part in implementing change. However, once incentives were imposed from the management, they would probably be assimilated.

Research limitations/implications

The study aims at illuminating teachers' responses to change. It does not attempt to make generalization.


The study reveals that managing teacher balkanization in times of change, school leaders' personal beliefs and their early intervention, are of paramount importance.



Ng, S. (2011), "Managing teacher balkanization in times of implementing change", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 654-670.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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