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Postscript: where have we been? Where are we going in the study of educational organizations?

William D. Greenfield Jr (Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 1 February 2005




The paper shares observations on each article in this volume, concluding that educational administration has continued to evolve in the application of organizational theory to schools and universities. A very important but recent focus of several studies reviewed is the connections they illustrate between organizational characteristics and processes and teaching and learning. Suggestions for future inquiry conclude this article.


Articles are summarized briefly and the author offers a brief critical commentary on each.


Each of the studies is an excellent example of the power and utility of organizational theory and its applicability to educational organizations. There is a real sense of theoretical pluralism represented in this collection, and a focus on studying real problems of administrative and organizational practice.


While the papers discussed illustrate advances in thinking since the early days of the “theory movement”, there remains the critical task of theory development. All articles are a reminder of the importance and utility of theory, and the advantage of validated theory as a guide to practice. However, only a few are a reminder of the need for scholars to focus on theory development and, more specifically, of the need for theory development addressing real problems of educational organization and administrative practice. Such studies are vital to the future of organizational theory as a field of inquiry.



Greenfield, W.D. (2005), "Postscript: where have we been? Where are we going in the study of educational organizations?", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 121-126.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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