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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Alan Bain, Allan Walker and Anissa Chan

The paper aims to describe the application of theoretical principles derived from a study of self‐organisation and complex systems theory and their application to school

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4125

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to describe the application of theoretical principles derived from a study of self‐organisation and complex systems theory and their application to school‐based capacity building to support planned change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a case example in a Hong Kong School to illustrate the application of the principles and discuss their potential to sustain the effect of capacity building in schools.. The descriptive case study is used to illustrate six theoretical propositions of self‐organization. The case is then unpacked using each of the propositions to illustrate the application of the theory to capacity building in a secondary school setting.

Findings

The case illustrates the way each of the principles are reflected in a design process undertaken by the school's principal and its leadership team to create a self‐organizing approach to capacity building.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is threefold. First it shows the way in which capacity building can be theorized for practical benefit in school settings. Second, the theoretical approach described in the case study addresses the longstanding and largely unresolved issue of the sustainability of capacity building efforts in school settings. The case analysis links theory to practical strategy that can be used by school leaders to design their own capacity building efforts that disperse control to the community, are sustainable, and self‐organizing within the school.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1995

Bill Richardson

Describes a range of contexts associated with the learningorganization literature and the job of learning organization leader.Offers prescriptions about how classically…

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3303

Abstract

Describes a range of contexts associated with the learning organization literature and the job of learning organization leader. Offers prescriptions about how classically administered productivity improvement might be implemented in organizations, on the one hand, and how self‐organizing, learning networks might be facilitated, on the other. Also examines the problems and leadership challenges associated with organizationally destructive learning communities.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Peter Alexander Barnard

At a time when many education systems are grappling with the issue of school reform, there is a concern that traditional UK secondary schools are organised in a way that…

Abstract

Purpose

At a time when many education systems are grappling with the issue of school reform, there is a concern that traditional UK secondary schools are organised in a way that makes them unable to respond to increasingly complex environmental demands. This research-based paper uses complexity theory to gauge the organisational differences between (1) the traditional model of schooling based on same-age organisation and (2) a form of organisation based on multi-age tutor groups, one that schools call a vertical tutoring (VT) system. The intention is to highlight the organisational changes made by schools that choose to transition from their same-age iteration to the VT system, and expose organisational assumptions in the dominant same-age structure that may account for the failure of reform.

Design/methodology/approach

The author's consultancy and research work spans two decades, and includes around 200 UK secondary schools, and others in China, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Qatar, Germany and Colombia. This conceptual paper draws on the recorded discourse and critical reflections of leadership teams during programmes of transformative learning, the process involved in the transition from one system to another. Using descriptions of school organisation abstracted from the complexity literature, differences in the two models not otherwise apparent, come into sharp focus. These not only reveal a substantive connection between organisation, complexity, and individual and organisational learning, but offer insights into the challenge of school reform.

Findings

Same-age organisations act in ways that regulate and restrict the agency of participating actors (staff, students and parents). The effect is to reduce a school’s learning capacity and ability to absorb the value demand on its system. Such a system is closed and non-complex. VT schools construct an open and fluid learning system from the base, deregulating agency. By unfreezing their structure, they intervene in processes of power, necessitating the distribution of leadership to the organisational edge, a process of complexification. The form of organisation chosen by a school explains the failure of reform.

Originality/value

Insights from VT schools cast considerable doubt on the viability of traditional same-age structures to serve complex societies and communities, while highlighting the critical role played by complexity theory in organisational praxis. If correct, the current emphasis on teacher “will and skill”, curricular editing, pedagogy and the “what works agenda” will be insufficient to bring about reformational change and more likely to contribute to systemic stasis.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2008

Aapo Länsiluoto and Tomas Eklund

The purpose of this study is to present and compare the results of an evaluation of two self‐organizing map (SOM) models' suitability for financial environment analysis…

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2232

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to present and compare the results of an evaluation of two self‐organizing map (SOM) models' suitability for financial environment analysis. The models are constructed for analyzing the macro‐ and firm‐level environments in the international pulp and paper industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the evaluation were collected through a field survey in 13 publicly‐noted Finnish companies, with a total of 36 respondents. All the respondents were involved in business intelligence or corporate development related tasks.

Findings

The results indicate that, the respondents appreciated the capabilities of both SOM models. All of the factors relating to accuracy, content, format, timeliness, and usability for strategic decision making received ratings higher than neutral. Respondents also concluded that the SOM models have additional benefits compared to currently used methods. Finally, the respondents were willing to utilize the SOM as a complement to other tools for analyzing the competitive environment. Some subfactors of the firm level SOM model received statistically higher averages than the macro‐level SOM model.

Originality/value

Despite the SOM having been utilized in thousands of different applications, user satisfaction with the SOM and its information products has not previously been widely evaluated, especially not by potential end‐users.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Karel F. Mulder, Didac Ferrer, Jordi Segalas Coral, Olga Kordas, Eugene Nikiforovich and Kateryna Pereverza

This paper aims at identifying factors that could contribute to the motivation of students in sustainable development (SD) education. The underlying idea of the paper is…

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1799

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at identifying factors that could contribute to the motivation of students in sustainable development (SD) education. The underlying idea of the paper is that SD education is not always as attractive among students and lecturers as many would like it to be.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper briefly reviews literature regarding behavioral change for long-term benefits. It identifies four motivators that could be effective to make people pursue longer-term objectives. It identifies if these motivators were present in five cases of successful SD education.

Findings

The four motivators for students that were identified in the literature review (a sense of autonomy, a challenge of reflection on the future role, connection with others, self-fulfillment, focus on the individual learning need) could be observed in the cases of successful SD education, although to various degrees. Individual autonomy in learning was not observed, but group autonomy was present in all cases.

Research limitations/implications

The case studies were all electives. It is unclear how the motivators could work out in mandatory courses. Moreover, the curriculum as a whole will affect the success of single courses. Successful courses being “the exception” of the curriculum might be judged differently if they would be part of the curriculum in which such courses would be the main stream. Further research is required to check if the motivators are effective in mandatory and not specifically SD-targeted courses. It is also not clear how various motivators could be applied most effectively in a curriculum.

Practical implications

The paper gives guidance to lecturers and educational managers to design attractive and effective SD education.

Originality/value

The paper treats SD education from a novel perspective: how to convey a credible behavioral message, and how to motivate students for education for SD.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2019

Seda Yanık and Abdelrahman Elmorsy

The purpose of this paper is to generate customer clusters using self-organizing map (SOM) approach, a machine learning technique with a big data set of credit card…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to generate customer clusters using self-organizing map (SOM) approach, a machine learning technique with a big data set of credit card consumptions. The authors aim to use the consumption patterns of the customers in a period of three months deducted from the credit card transactions, specifically the consumption categories (e.g. food, entertainment, etc.).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a big data set of almost 40,000 credit card transactions to cluster customers. To deal with the size of the data set and the eliminated the required parametric assumptions the authors use a machine learning technique, SOMs. The variables used are grouped into three as demographical variables, categorical consumption variables and summary consumption variables. The variables are first converted to factors using principal component analysis. Then, the number of clusters is specified by k-means clustering trials. Then, clustering with SOM is conducted by only including the demographical variables and all variables. Then, a comparison is made and the significance of the variables is examined by analysis of variance.

Findings

The appropriate number of clusters is found to be 8 using k-means clusters. Then, the differences in categorical consumption levels are investigated between the clusters. However, they have been found to be insignificant, whereas the summary consumption variables are found to be significant between the clusters, as well as the demographical variables.

Originality/value

The originality of the study is to incorporate the credit card consumption variables of customers to cluster the bank customers. The authors use a big data set and dealt with it with a machine learning technique to deduct the consumption patterns to generate the clusters. Credit card transactions generate a vast amount of data to deduce valuable information. It is mainly used to detect fraud in the literature. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, consumption patterns obtained from credit card transaction are first used for clustering the customers in this study.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

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Book part
Publication date: 17 December 2016

Marguerite Anne Fillion Wilson and Denise Gray Yull

While scholars recognize that parent engagement in children’s education is beneficial, much of the normative parent involvement literature rests on the assumption that…

Abstract

While scholars recognize that parent engagement in children’s education is beneficial, much of the normative parent involvement literature rests on the assumption that marginalized parents of color must be taught white middle-class norms of conduct in order to engage with the school system. In this chapter, we describe the ways our critical ethnographic implementation and analysis of the Parent Mentor Program – a parent engagement project in a small urban school district in Central New York – re-envisions parent engagement in three interrelated ways. First, we argue that the project is race-, class-, gender-, and power-conscious, drawing on the interrelated theoretical frames of Critical Race Theory and Critical Whiteness Studies. Second, we argue that the program and research are unique in utilizing the toolkit of critical ethnography to not merely describe, but also to intervene in educational inequity. Third, we argue that the program has a more holistic goal than much of the parent engagement literature, as it seeks to connect parent engagement and activism with the larger antiracist goal of using restorative justice strategies to disrupt the disproportionate disciplining of Black students. Focusing on critical ethnographic methods in practice, we analyze the shifting positionalities of a multiracial research team as we grappled with methodological dilemmas in the first three years of the program. We document how we balanced the goals of introducing a race-conscious framework and catalyzing critical consciousness with the realities of constantly renegotiating entry in a school district characterized by colorblindness and colormuteness.

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Book part
Publication date: 25 October 2014

Julie Lancaster

Despite the existence of legislation and policy, the inclusion of students with special needs remains a challenge for teachers when research-based pedagogies and…

Abstract

Despite the existence of legislation and policy, the inclusion of students with special needs remains a challenge for teachers when research-based pedagogies and collaboration are not translated into practice. Given emerging Indexes for inclusion, perhaps we should be attending to measuring school and classroom indicators of inclusive education to allow for professional development for teachers in an empirical and guided manner. Following a brief introduction to the importance of inclusive practice in schools, this chapter will address teacher use of research-based pedagogies and curriculum differentiation required to enhance success with students in schools; teachers’ capacity to communicate about learning using professional language and collaborative problem-solving processes; teachers’ sense of self-efficacy when working with students who have special needs; and translation of these research-based skills into actual classroom practice.

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Colin W. Evers and Gabriele Lakomski

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical reflection on ideas that have been published in the Journal of Educational Administration over the last 50 years that…

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1985

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical reflection on ideas that have been published in the Journal of Educational Administration over the last 50 years that present perspectives on the nature of educational administration and its various aspects, that are alternatives to the mainstream systems‐scientific view of educational administration.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a standard analytic philosophy methodology with a focus on argument structures found in epistemology. The approach is to argue that the content and structure of administrative theories is shaped significantly by background epistemologies that determine the nature and justification of administrative knowledge

Findings

Epistemologies for both the traditional systems‐science approach to educational administration and a range of alternatives are identified and specified, and the most characteristic features of these approaches that follow from their epistemologies are described. The paper permits inferences about theory choice, and what approach is best, based on a discussion of the merits of the different epistemologies.

Originality/value

The principal value of the paper is to classify and demonstrate the most general features of the arguments that have been behind the large‐scale theoretical differences in the field of educational administration.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1996

Penny Tamkin

Personal development has been one of the popular HR trends of the 1990s, and yet has received little close scrutiny as to its application in practice. Reports on the…

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3999

Abstract

Personal development has been one of the popular HR trends of the 1990s, and yet has received little close scrutiny as to its application in practice. Reports on the experiences of 14 employers using personal development plans. Finds that employers hope for different things, some want cost effectiveness, others to forge a new deal on development and others to develop a more autonomous workforce. In practice personal development plans (PDPs) are resource intensive but do seem to get individuals to own their own careers and become more autonomous. The means by which they are created can also have a significant effect. Suggests learning points for organizations considering the implementation of PDPs.

Details

Management Development Review, vol. 9 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0962-2519

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