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Article

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.

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

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Article

Tanja Hautala, Jaakko Helander and Vesa Korhonen

The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize the attributes of loose and tight coupling in educational organizations. In addition, it is aimed to determine…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize the attributes of loose and tight coupling in educational organizations. In addition, it is aimed to determine whether this phenomenon has value and strategies to offer for the current educational administration and research.

Design/methodology/approach

Integrative literature review and content analysis, assisted by Atlas.ti software, were used as the methods of this paper. Review data included 32 articles from peer reviewed journals.

Findings

Conceptual framework of continuum of organizational couplings in educational organizations was generated. Elements of the framework include the features of coupling concepts within the continuum, components of couplings, contributory types of organizational couplings and the elements of leadership and change process with emerging strategies, as well as the element of cultural context. In this paper, elements of continuum of couplings and leadership will be emphasized.

Practical implications

Findings have practical implications for the management and leadership in educational organizations, and for the researchers in the field for future research purposes.

Social implications

Findings have social implications for both teaching staff and administration in educational organizations, by highlighting the attributes of loose and tight coupling, and their connections with leadership, change process and cultural context.

Originality/value

The paper presents a distinctive synopsis of the educational administration literature, in the context of loose and tight coupling, with the time span of four decades.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 56 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

Donald J. Peurach, David K. Cohen and James P. Spillane

The purpose of this paper is to examine relationships among governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and the organization and management of instruction…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine relationships among governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and the organization and management of instruction in US public education, with the aim of raising issues for cross-national research among countries in which the involvement of non-governmental organizations is increasing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is structured in four parts: an historical analysis of the architecture and dynamics of US public education; an analysis of contemporary reform efforts seeking to improve quality and reduce inequities; an analysis of ways that legacy and reform dynamics manifest in two US public school districts; and a discussion of considerations for cross-national research.

Findings

In US public education, dependence on non-governmental organizations for instructional resources and services is anchored in deeply institutionalized social, political and economic values dating to the country’s founding and that continue to function as constraints on educational reform, such that new solutions always emerge in-and-from the same problematic conditions that they seek to redress. The consequence is that reform takes on an evolutionary (vs transformative) character.

Research limitations/implications

The US case provides a foundation for framing issues for cross-national research comparing among macro-level educational infrastructures, patterns of instructional organization and classroom instruction.

Originality/value

Such research would move beyond reductionist approaches to cross-national research toward new approaches that examine how histories, legacy architectures, contemporary reforms and patterns of instructional organization and management interact to shape students’ day-to-day lives in classrooms.

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Article

Nina Aniskina and Ekaterina Terekhova

The purpose of this paper is to present good practices of improving quality of educational services through use of innovative methods in order to involve staff in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present good practices of improving quality of educational services through use of innovative methods in order to involve staff in the processes of the organization’s management.

Design/methodology/approach

The study of teachers’ and management’s perception of quality initiatives is used as a basis for analyzing main causes of inhibition of the quality initiatives. The authors formulate the issue of a low efficiency of quality management systems (QMS) and make conclusions about why it is important to expand the “quality spirit” among teachers and managers and why it is necessary to implement quality management principles (such as a leadership and staff involvement) in educational organizations.

Findings

The innovation and project (IP) technique of training is proposed to solve the tasks of expanding the “quality spirit,” creating leadership and involving educational organization’s staff in the quality management processes. The paper contains description and examples of use of the IP technique in order to create efficient management systems on the basis of leadership and involvement of managers and other staff in the processes of quality management. The authors formulate principles of innovative training and evaluate the effects of its use in the projects aimed at improvement of QMS.

Practical implications

The paper presents the experience of usage of the main component of the technique – an innovative workshop – for development of the strategy of Pastukhov Academy, building a managing team and involving staff in quality assurance activities. The paper presents the practical value of the results achieved by the academy in the process of implementation of the IP technique for development of the managing team and their strategic self-identification, as well as for increasing the quality of educational services. The IP technique is used in the process of implementation of social responsibility standards.

Originality/value

The paper is valuable for educational organizations, which may use the IP technique that will result in providing a real effect on the QMS, improving the educational courses and a positive impact on improving the quality of life.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Book part

Mike Zapp

This article put forward two claims. First, it argues that, historically, the rationale for education has shifted from religious and national indoctrination to, in the…

Abstract

This article put forward two claims. First, it argues that, historically, the rationale for education has shifted from religious and national indoctrination to, in the more recent neoliberal period, human capital and the related notion of individual empowerment. Second, the article argues that the recent shift toward individual empowerment is reflected in international organizations’ (IOs) changing emphases in education. IOs’ educational agenda has undergone various changes since their early work in the 1960s: From the structural expansion of national education systems to the measurement of individual educational achievement through a focus on competencies and, most recently, individual psychosocial development.

Based on a content analysis of 60 documents from 38 IOs involved in international education networks between 1990 and 2015, this work identified an expanding field of IOs directing attention to the mental capabilities of a learner. The proliferated model of an individual actorhood reflected in these novel assessment designs will be presented and embedded in wider discussions about the cultural construction of the individual in contemporary world polity.

Details

Cross-nationally Comparative, Evidence-based Educational Policymaking and Reform
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-767-8

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Article

DONALD J. WILLOWER

In this paper, which was presented at a Conference for Lecturers in Educational Administration held in Melbourne in August 1981, the author expands upon past criticisms of…

Abstract

In this paper, which was presented at a Conference for Lecturers in Educational Administration held in Melbourne in August 1981, the author expands upon past criticisms of the phenomenological and Marxist perspectives, provides an extensive analysis of the concept of loose coupling and puts forward a philosophical alternative to the phenomenological and positivistic positions. The interplay of philosophical viewpoints with issues in theory, research and preparation in educational administration is emphasized.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

Ulf Daniel Ehlers

The purpose of this paper is to develop a holistic understanding of quality in higher education which reveals the current debates about accreditation or quality process…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a holistic understanding of quality in higher education which reveals the current debates about accreditation or quality process standards as insufficient, and to propose an enhanced model for quality culture in educational organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual framework is based on relevant research in the field of quality development for education, and integrates it with a series of previously published works related to quality methodologies, quality literacy and quality as a multidimensional concept. Quality is approached from an educational science perspective, and is understood as a relationship among all the participants and resources of an educational scenario.

Findings

The paper establishes the foundation for a comprehensive understanding and analysis of quality culture in organisations, focussing on higher education. While this understanding of quality as part of the organisational culture seems to gain more importance there is still a lack of fundamental research and conceptual understanding of the phenomenon in itself. Quality development in higher education is often limited to bureaucratic documentation, and disregards the development of quality as an organisation's holistic culture. However, there is a need to focus on promoting a quality culture which is enabling individual actors to continuously improve their educational practice.

Originality/value

The original value of the paper is to approach quality development in higher education from an organisation's cultural perspective. When the conceptual foundations for empirical research are worked out, the professionals can benefit by understanding the interrelated nature of educational quality and organisational culture in higher education institutions.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article

Peyman Akhavan, Babaeianpour Marzieh and Masoumeh Mirjafari

This paper aims to identify the success factors of communities of practice (CoPs) that will improve knowledge creation (KC) in educational organizations. Today, educational

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the success factors of communities of practice (CoPs) that will improve knowledge creation (KC) in educational organizations. Today, educational organizations are faced with constant changes in their environment. These changes have forced organizations to view their human capital as knowledge capital to survive and thrive. CoPs can be one of the most important factors to achieve these goals, and it should be considered by educational organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The present paper tries to identify the success factors of CoPs and examine the impact of the success factors of CoPs in KC. The research method is descriptive. The population of the research consists of students of Payame Noor University as a case study. A questionnaire based on experts’ opinion was designed and more than 35 articles were reviewed. Factor analysis was used to categorize and examine the correlation between success factors of CoPs and KC and, finally, the regression equation based on correlation’ result was formed.

Findings

The results showed six success factors: “organization”, “optimizing interactions”, “infrastructure”, “supporting tools”, “strategy and goals” and “organizational support”. These factors reflect the effective factors in educational organizations attempting to progress in KC should focus. Among these success factors, “strategy and goals” and “organization” have the highest effect on CoPs in this case.

Research limitations/implications

The paper discusses how the success factors of CoPs improve KC in universities as educational organization and how an organization will benefit from these factors. It can help the development of guidelines for educational organizations to increase their community knowledge information. They can also apply the findings of this research to promote the scientific level of their related organizations through reinforcement of CoP practices. In this paper, the authors faced some problems to collect expert’s opinion and also gather the questionnaires.

Originality/value

This paper may have great value to researchers, as well as practitioners involved in knowledge-creation programs in organizations about CoPs and the knowledge-creation field. This research can establish guidelines for Payame Noor University Tehran-North as a case study using the right policies and make changes to the traditional structures of the university, improve and develop the knowledge-creation process and the formation of CoPs. This study can guide managers and, especially, the university managers to provide suitable base to shape COPs, help them emerge and enhance them effectively.

Details

VINE, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article

Leif Christian Lahn

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the dominance of the participation metaphor for learning in the literature on learning organizations and to propose a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the dominance of the participation metaphor for learning in the literature on learning organizations and to propose a working model of the teaching organization with conceptual input from educational science and the sociology of professions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines theoretical critique and a selective review of literature that is relevant to the discussion of the concept “teaching organization”.

Findings

Concepts referring to teaching as a systemic attribute of learning organizations are not made explicit in texts on organizational learning and knowing. Key concepts from educational science are almost completely absent from this literature.

Originality/value

The paper describes elements from educational science and the sociology of professions and proposes to integrate them in a model of a teaching organization that could serve as a theoretical platform for further empirical studies.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article

Brian Rowan

In this paper, I argue that ideas about loose coupling can serve a useful purpose in organization theory, but only if they are re‐worked substantially. This re‐working, I…

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that ideas about loose coupling can serve a useful purpose in organization theory, but only if they are re‐worked substantially. This re‐working, I argue, will involve merging ideas about loose coupling with ideas found in other lines of work developed contemporaneously, including research on the “new” managerialism, institutional theory, and organizational ecology. Such a re‐working, I hope, will entail closer attention to the elements in educational systems that can be coupled and to an expanded list of coupling mechanisms. Using this expanded list of coupling mechanisms, and thinking more clearly about how educational organizations are embedded in dense and complex webs of couplings calls for a movement away from an exclusive concern with loose and tight couplings among dyadic elements in organizational systems, and toward a concern with “tangled” couplings.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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