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1 – 10 of 689
Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Bob L. Johnson and Michael Owens

This paper provides an example of how organization theory can be linked with other literatures in a complementary and productive manner. Establishing a bridge between the…

1837

Abstract

Purpose

This paper provides an example of how organization theory can be linked with other literatures in a complementary and productive manner. Establishing a bridge between the organization theory and learning environment literatures, the authors seek to provide an example of how such literature‐bridging can enrich our understanding of the school‐classroom relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

After providing a set of working criteria with which to assess the developmental maturity of a field, this paper provides a general review of the learning environments literature. This is followed by an examination of an important yet under‐explored relationship in this literature: the school‐classroom relationship. Using concepts from organizational theory, the authors seek to establish the utility these concepts have for understanding the relationship that exists between classroom‐ and school‐level learning environments.

Findings

Given the importance of organization theory to our understanding of educational organizations and the increased absence of a substantive organizational perspective from our dialogue, there is a need to build and/or reestablish bridges between organization theory and other lines of inquiry in education. Teaching and learning occur in an organizational context. Thus it is important that this context be considered by educational researchers. The time has also come to aggressively link the study of learning environments with literatures such as organization theory.

Originality/value

This paper provides an example of how literature‐bridging can be used to encourage and enrich dialogue between separate yet complementary lines of inquiry. It also sheds light on the relationship shared between the classroom and larger school.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Bob L. Johnson and Janice R. Fauske

This essay argues that it is time to revisit and reintegrate the contributions of organization theory to the understanding of educational organizations and leadership.

5182

Abstract

Purpose

This essay argues that it is time to revisit and reintegrate the contributions of organization theory to the understanding of educational organizations and leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

The arguments presented in this essay are predicated on the following assumptions: a collective recognition of the rich theoretical and conceptual contributions the field of organization has made to the understanding of educational organizations and leadership; a concern that the pragmatic press of the current reform movement – with its preoccupation with outcome measures – would discourage efforts to pursue a theoretical and conceptual understanding of educational organizations; and a recognized need to re‐articulate the utility of the frameworks and concepts provided by organizational theory literature to the larger research community.

Findings

As a defining venue for social interaction, the organization provides a context for understanding this interaction. Organizations exhibit tendencies that exist in various human groups and provide the context for a variety of basic social processes. The numerous activities witnessed in educational organizations – leading, teaching, learning, counseling, coaching, etc. – take place in an organizational context. One cannot discuss these activities without considering the context in which they occur.

Originality/value

The value of this essay lies in the message it seeks to convey: it is time to revisit and reconsider the important role and contributions of the organizational theory literature with regard to educational research and the larger educational enterprise.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

William D. Greenfield, Joseph W. Licata and Bob L. Johnson

Drawing on Blumberg and Greenfield′s studies of effectiveprincipals, offers an operational definition of school vision, based onteachers′ perceptions of that vision. The…

Abstract

Drawing on Blumberg and Greenfield′s studies of effective principals, offers an operational definition of school vision, based on teachers′ perceptions of that vision. The instrument developed consists of three subscales: (1) vision exchange – the principal′s effectiveness in exchanging his/her vision with the school community; (2) vision internalization – the principal′s effectiveness in getting others to internalize this vision, and; (3) vision sacrifice – the principal′s effectiveness in encouraging others to sacrifice for this vision. In an effort to validate the School Vision Inventory (SVI), three hypotheses were tested. The perceived robustness of the principal′s role was significantly correlated with two subscales of the SVI: exchange and sacrifice. Significant correlations were also found between teachers′ perceptions of the principal′s supervisory expertise and vision exchange and sacrifice. Finally, there were higher mean principal vision scores in schools where teachers perceived progress being made towards vision realization. Presents the SVI as a potentially useful way of assessing school vision, providing further insight into the dynamics of professional life in schools.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

William D. Greenfield

The paper shares observations on each article in this volume, concluding that educational administration has continued to evolve in the application of organizational…

1092

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Michael F. DiPaola and Megan Tschannen‐Moran

Rational and open system theories offer divergent sets of tactics on how best to deal with factors outside the boundary of the school. This study compared two competing…

2860

Abstract

Purpose

Rational and open system theories offer divergent sets of tactics on how best to deal with factors outside the boundary of the school. This study compared two competing strategies that emerge from these theories: bridging and buffering. The impact of how schools interact with their environments was examined in relation to student achievement.

Design/methodology/approach

The competing theories were operationalized into two survey measures that tapped teacher perceptions of their schools’ orientations toward the environment. Using schools as the unit of analysis, two competing perspectives were contrasted together with their relative impact on student achievement on standardized tests.

Findings

Multiple regression was used to assess the relative weight of each of these constructs in explaining the variance in student achievement. Bridging strategies explained a greater proportion of the variance than buffering.

Research limitations/implications

Data were limited to teacher perceptions of the strategies employed by their schools to relate to the external environments. Enactments of these strategies are generally conceived and initiated by school administrators. Schools are dependent on their environments for survival. If the community is perceived as a threat, school leaders will attempt to insulate the technical core of teaching by buffering teachers from environmental disturbances. If, however, the community is perceived as a potential resource, school leaders will attempt to build bridges and create a symbiotic interdependence. Findings suggest that the latter is a more productive strategy for school administrators to employ.

Originality/value

To date, little research has been done on these competing strategies that would guide the practice of school leaders in how to best invest their energies in relation to their external environments.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Janice R. Fauske and Rebecca Raybould

The paper's purposes are to establish organizational learning theory as evolving from the theoretical and empirical study of organizations and to build grounded theory…

8104

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's purposes are to establish organizational learning theory as evolving from the theoretical and empirical study of organizations and to build grounded theory explaining organizational learning in schools.

Design/methodology/approach

Implementation of instructional technology as a process of organizational learning was explored at an elementary school. Findings from qualitative data revealed determinants of organization learning discussed as grounded theory, building on the relationship between social psychology and structural systemic aspects of organizational theory.

Findings

Five elements influenced organizational learning: priority of the learning in the organization, consistency and breadth of information distribution, unpredictability or uncertainty, the ease of learning new routines (how to) and the difficulty of learning new conceptual frameworks (why).

Practical implications

Assessing the type of change (routine or conceptual) and the adequacy of information distribution can predict the ease of organizational change. Identifying existing beliefs or procedures that impede new learning can explain lack of progression, and prioritizing the learning through both words and action can facilitate the process.

Originality/value

The paper develops organizational learning theory in schools as contextual indicators and conditions with theoretical roots in the structural technical and social cognitive study of organizations.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Rodney T. Ogawa and Ruth H. Kim

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the relationship between business and education and thereby offer a research agenda for examining the influence of business…

2208

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the relationship between business and education and thereby offer a research agenda for examining the influence of business on education. Educational research has given relatively limited attention to the impact of business on education.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes a theoretical framework drawn from organization theory that identifies five types of influence of business on education. The emerging literature on business‐school relations is accessed not to present a comprehensive review of research on the impact of business on education, but rather to identify issues regarding the impact of business on education that bear the scrutiny of researchers and educational and business leaders and policy makers.

Findings

The types of influence include business consuming the outputs of schools, supplying inputs to schools, competing with public schools for students and state funding, shaping educational policy at various levels, and distributing wealth in ways that indirectly affects education.

Originality/value

This paper identifies an issue that requires further research and policy attention and offers a conceptual framework and research agenda.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Duane M. Covrig

Contingency and institutional theories of organizational development are used to describe and interpret the 100‐year history of a health science university and to then…

1082

Abstract

Purpose

Contingency and institutional theories of organizational development are used to describe and interpret the 100‐year history of a health science university and to then make a case for teaching organizational sociology in administrative preparation programs.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary and secondary documents were analyzed to delineate the university's history.

Findings

Results indicated that organizational development was the result of complex institutional commitments that were challenged by and reinterpreted in the face of controversial and unanticipated contingencies. Both contingency and institutional theories help explain organizational processes. Organizational sense‐making theories from Karl Weick explain conflicting findings related to the tensions between old and new, the known and unknown, and the set and novel environmental and organizational processes.

Research limitations/implications

This research shows the usefulness of organizational theory in helping administrators develop more elaborate ways of thinking about their schools. The process of theory crafting and testing encourages essential openness and curiosity in administrators.

Practical implications

Administrative candidates should be introduced to the content and processes of organizational sociology as a way of thinking about their leadership and organizational processes.

Originality/value

Organizational theory, including organizational sociology, contingency theory, institutional theory, and sense‐making remain viable in the study of educational organizations and can provide new administrators with a guide for their own meaning construction.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Sharon Conley and Ernestine K. Enomoto

This paper presents routinized action theory as a way to examine the regular, habitual activities that occur in school organizations. Using this theoretical lens, school…

3915

Abstract

Purpose

This paper presents routinized action theory as a way to examine the regular, habitual activities that occur in school organizations. Using this theoretical lens, school routines were analyzed in order to understand organizational stability and change.

Design/methodology/approach

Using case study methods, three discrete cases are presented, a K‐12 public school setting, a private international school, and a central office in an educational system. Cases were selected for their descriptive detail and illustrate different aspects of the theory.

Findings

Routinized action theory posits that alterations in routines occur for different reasons: failure to produce desired outcome; producing new possibilities, and/or falling short of ideal targets. In these case studies, routines were altered by management to address problems, repair what did not work, and strive toward new targets. Management also shifted resources accordingly. While these actions can help the organization survive environmental changes, routines may also restrict the organization's response to change.

Practical implications

By analyzing the resources associated with routines, school administrators can understand the possibilities for accomplishing necessary work in ways that reduce environmental influences. Routines might be a useful lever for change.

Originality/value

Routinized action theory may have been overlooked as a viable means to analyze educational organizations. The systematic application of this theoretical lens to schools holds significant implications for practitioners and researchers because schools are deeply routinized organizations.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

David Waggoner and Paul Goldman

What is the rhetoric that higher education institutions use when they develop and publish policies to improve student retention? Using the organization literature on…

1913

Abstract

Purpose

What is the rhetoric that higher education institutions use when they develop and publish policies to improve student retention? Using the organization literature on institutional environments, this study examines the nature and evolution of institutional rhetoric used by three public universities in a single state over a 20‐year period. Consistent with the intent of the larger volume, this study provides an example of how the frameworks and concepts provided by organization theory can be used to complicate thinking about educational organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Stinchcombe's definition of institutions as “communities of fate” and key concepts from the organizational ecology and institutional literatures provide the framework for this study. Using a qualitative methodology, over 2,800 retention‐oriented statements were used as study data. These were analyzed using codes generated from the institutional theory and student‐retention literatures.

Findings

Study data suggest that, while each institution developed a unique, defining identity over time, an institutional isomorphism emerged around student‐retention in these same institutions. This ideology centered on the creation of a “caring and student‐friendly” campus environment and played an important role in the development of student‐retention policies on each campus.

Originality/value

Research in student retention theory and policy has almost exclusively studied retention practice and student persistence. The research for this paper was deliberately designed to operationalize theoretical concepts in organizational ecology literature and to examine their manifestation in universities over time.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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