A teacher librarian's learning journey

Organisation theory February 27, 2012

Filed under: ETL504 Teacher LIbrarian as Leader — Jennifer Baccon @ 9:27 am

Is a school an “organisation”? Should this be the case?

Well I’ve always thought of a school as an organisation but perhaps “one with heart”. The term organisation has never really seemed warm and organic to me – a cold, unbending structure comes to mind…

The reading from Bennett (2001) provided lots of “new thoughts to think”…never really thought about organisational theory before as something that really applied to me as a teacher…quite mind-bending stuff really!

What I want to remember from this:

  • Structure, culture and power form a three-dimensional model of schools as organisations
  • Scott (1987) systems perspective – rational, natural and open. Schools – rational open systems model
  • Relations are formally defined by the structure and the inherent power of individuals in the relationship brought about by the structure
  • Organisational structures only have meaning when they relate to individual actions
  • “Assumptive world” (Young, 1981) – process of construction through which we come to understand the situation, our freedom to act within it, and our sense of what is “right”
  • Schein (1992) “the precise pattern of structural arrangements which delineate an organisation’s relationship with its environment and its internal workings to respond to that relationship are outgrowths of the culture of the organisation.” (Bennett, p. 107)
  • “The culture of an organisation…is a construct made up of a range of expectations about what are proper and appropriate actions. Such expectations are both external to the organization and internal to its members, who “transact” them (Archer, 1980) into the culture. Just as structures generate the degree of freedom or constraint of individuals, so cultures shape how they act within those freedoms or constraints.” ( Bennett, 2001, p. 109)

Hales (1993)

  • Four kinds of power – physical, economic, knowledge and normative.
  • Hmmmm….How are these forms of power exercised in my school???

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