Differentiating the scholarly identity of educational administration

Izhar Oplatka (School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 28 January 2014



The purpose of this paper is to sharpen the intellectual identity of the field of educational administration (EA) and to understand its scholarly boundaries by comparing between the writings of this field and those of the field of organisational behaviour (OB), an area of study usually located in faculties of management, and share many commonalities with EA.


A qualitative content analysis of textbooks and journal papers in OB and EA, reading of previous writings that revolved around the epistemological dimensions of these fields.


The author sheds light on the theoretical and empirical distinctions of OB and EA historically and provides insight into the distinctive intellectual identity of the latter field during the 2000s. A special attention is given to paradigms and theories in EA imported to the field from outside and transformed in a way that specify the unique identity of EA in the academic world.


This comparison is warranted in order to clarify more profoundly the unique contributions of EA, both theoretically and practically, to emphasise the differences that separate it from other disciplines, and to legitimate its independent position in higher education.



Oplatka, I. (2014), "Differentiating the scholarly identity of educational administration", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 116-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-12-2012-0137

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