Organizational Culture And Leadership Styles Education Essay
Human learning in the 21st century will be as different from human learning in the 20th century as the micro-chip and neural networks are from the valve.” (Lepani,1994, p. 3). In this century the scope and pace of change seem to be accelerating in all areas of human existence. We have to move with it or ahead of it if we are not to be left behind. Academic institutions are feeling this tidal wave of change in ways that “have left many educators – consciously or otherwise – confused, exhausted and disillusioned”. (Deal, 1990, p.131) Change can be seen as evolutionary and dynamic with an emphasis on continuous learning and adaptation (Dixon, 1994; Fullan, 1991; Fullan and Miles, 1992). The challenge for academic institutions is to adopt change strategies that provide internal stability while moving ahead. This challenge may be able to be met in education and elsewhere by focusing on a change strategy where learning comes to be seen as “the single most important resource for organizational renewal in the postmodern age” (Hargreaves, 1995).
The nations that lead the world into the next century will be those who can shift from being knowledge transformational bodies to those that will have the capacity to possess, renew and utilize knowledge successfully. The major issue that confronts educators is whether or not we can transform education and create academic institutions that can successfully prepare our nation's students for life. This process calls for leadership at all levels, a good school culture and personal commitment of those who are responsible for these institutions. They must take the time to seriously consider the kinds of changes that are needed. They have to address the needs of students and teachers and then a fundamental transformation of education could happen.
There are many routes for organizational development through change, which can be used to improve an organization’s quality. Learning organization models provide one administrative method that can be used to provide direction for organizational achievement for both public and private organizations (Makasarnont, 1997). As Hoy and Miskel (2001) state, academic institutions are service organizations that are committed to teaching and learning. The academic institutions functions as a learning organization in order to continue to improve performance and build capacity to manage change (Corcoran and Goertz, 1995) in an environment where academic institutions are becoming increasingly borderless.
Conceptualizing academic institutions as learning organizations is appropriate, given the new challenges of a fast-changing world. To be relevant in a knowledge society, new skills, capabilities and knowledge are required. The focus of each academic institution should therefore fall on the enhancement of individual commitments to continuous learning by creation of an enabling enterpreutionial culture and transformational leaders for the development and growth of academic institutions as Learning Organizations. Teachers have to be awake to these changes and must try to improve their skills all the time. They cannot stop their learning simply because they have graduated from school or the university and have been employed; if they would like to be successful, they must grow. They have to keep on learning from their experiences, environment, or their organization. As Lassey (1998) shows successful people are people who learn. Without learning, there is no improvement; and without improvement the institutions stagnate. The institutions should be places where participants continually expand their capacities to create and to achieve. If academic institutions are to be effective learning organizations, they must find ways to create structures that continuously support teaching and learning and enhance organizational adaptation. Therefore the learning organization is the important thing that an administrator has to create in her/his school in order to give leaders, teachers and students an opportunity for learning continuously, based on the belief that the more people learn, the better they can perform when they go on in life.
Need for the Study
Many academic institutions are struggling to meet the requirements for academic performance. In this study academic institutions is narrowed down to only schools, as they are base in the description of an academic institution. Despite numerous promising initiatives from the government to promote student success in schools, overall gains in student performance have been disappointing. Some commentators have suggested that nothing less than a fundamental redesign of the educational system will begin to address the hurdles faced by students in succeeding at school (Boyd & Shouse, 1997). Coleman (1997) noted that the highly bureaucratic nature of Government schools stifles creative problem solving and blocks receptivity to large-scale and transformative system reform. He described schools as "administratively driven organizations" with long feedback loops from the top of the organization (for example, the principal) to component subsystems (for example, teachers and students). Coleman considered schools with decentralized authority structures and norms of accountability and social support, which he labels as "output-driven organizations," as having more promise than ones with traditional bureaucratic forms for increasing teacher and student performance. With growing concerns about the ability of the public education system to respond to the needs of students (Orfield et al., 2004), many voices in the school reform movement have discussed the need for schools to operate as "learning organizations," which addresses the importance of faculty and staff working together to solve problems through networking and team learning (Senge et al., 2000). The degree to which schools function as learning organizations may not only influence the willingness of school employees to embrace new innovations for promoting student achievement, but also their personal well-being, their sense of efficacy in working with students, their work satisfaction, and their evaluation of the school as a high-performing organization. A burgeoning number of empirical investigations offer support for these types of positive effects from schools functioning as learning organizations (Lick, 2006; Orthner et al., 2006). I believe that understanding schools as learning organizations offers the potential to unlock the creative and dynamic processes that schools require to undergo fundamental and significant change initiatives. Only then do we believe that schools will begin to address the challenges they face in educating children and youths and in closing the significant gaps in educational achievement and life success. The phenomenon known as the learning organisations has during the past three decades been discussed widely in the literature (Khadra & Rawabdeh, 2006; Moilanen, 2001, 2005; Hawkins, 1991; Watkins & Marsick, 1993; Senge, 1990; Pedler, Burgoyne & Boydell, 1991).
Unfortunately, the concept of the learning organization remains abstract and elusive for many school level practitioners, which reflects, in part, a strong leaning toward a constructivist approach in the study of organizational learning. School personnel also have relatively few tools available to examine this aspect of their schools, and assessment is the first step in the evidence-based practice planning sequence.
During the past century much has been learned about how the brain works and how students learn. We have also learned that how schools can be organized in what that can enhance the quality of learning that students experience and we know a great deal about the kinds of conditions that are necessary for change to occur. The issue in Indian Educational system is to find a way to create the conditions that will encourage the learning organization concept which is needed to transform Indian academic organizations. What is also clear is that leadership is a critical component of the transformation of education. However, the kind of leadership that is needed is fundamentally different than what has traditionally been the case. Leaders must be able to transform their academic institutions. This has been widely discussed the literature (Jones & Rudd, 2007; Reed, 2006; Bartling & Bartlett, 2005; CASEL, 2006; Bamburg, 1997; West, 1999; Telford, 1996; Barnett, Marsh & Carven, 2003; Stander & Rothmann, 2009) and hence the inclusion of this as a variable in this study.
As small schools become more autonomous, they create new identities and establish unique school cultures. It is also believed that the school’s culture is inextricably linked to classroom culture. Many researchers have explored the challenges of building school culture (Silver, 2003; Zilwa, 2007; Ferreira & Hill, 2008; Niemann & Kotzé, 2006; Thomas & Willcoxson, 1998; Raywid, 2001;). The researches explore various approaches to the issue of organizational culture, including techniques from the business world, the connection to physical spaces, and the use of traditions (Berg & Wilderom, 2004; Fard.et.al, 2007;). A school’s culture includes the obvious elements of schedules, curriculum, demographics, and policies, as well as the social interactions that occur within those structures and give a school its look and feel as “friendly,” “elite,” “competitive,” “inclusive,” and so on. Just as culture is critical to understanding the dynamics behind any thriving community, organization, or business, the daily realities and deep structure of school life hold the key to educational success. Reforms that strive for educational excellence are likely to fail unless they are meaningfully linked to the school's unique culture and hence the inclusion of this variable in this study.
Teachers play an important role in the success of any school. The personal commitment of the teacher has a very strong influence in the smooth functioning of the school and the school to develop into a learning organization. Personal commitment could be commitment for one’s own development and commitment for the development of the school and students. Research on commitment has generally focused on either the antecedents or the consequences of commitment. Early studies of commitment explored the antecedents of commitment and found four general antecedents, namely: personal characteristics, job characteristics, work experiences, and role-related characteristics (Mathieu and Hamel 1989; Mowday, Porter and Steers 1982). Some of the earlier studies also explored the role played by demographic variables on commitment. The demographic variables found to have influence on commitment are: age (Mathieu and Zajac 1990), organizational tenure (Mathieu and Hamel 1989), position tenure (Gregersen and Black 1992), and education (DeCotiis and Summers 1987). Furthermore, Glisson and Durick (1988) identified skill variety and role ambiguity as predictors of satisfaction and leadership, and the age of the organization as predictor of commitment.
The impact of commitment on organizational level outcomes has also been explored in a number of studies. However, it is the consequence of affective commitment which is more often studied in the literature. This is because high levels of affective commitment are shown to be related to a number of positive behavioral level outcomes and job attitudes (Hislop 2003; Cooper-Hakim and Viswesvaran 2005). Further Organizational commitment and professional commitment of teachers in schools have been researched on (Sood & Anand, 2009; Karakus & Aslan, 2009; Weber, 1990; Coladarci, 1992; Menep. I, 2010; Iqbal, 2010; Borgei. et.al, 2010;). Although the study of commitment has been advanced from a range of theoretical perspectives, it is interesting to note that very few attempts have been made by researchers to work on personal commitment. The belief is that an understanding of the relationship between leadership, culture and commitment is necessary. As a teacher educator I think that personal commitment of teachers is very important in transforming schools into a learning organization and no researches have been done in this area, hence the inclusion of the variable in this study.
Schools as Learning Organization
To present a theoretical framework in which the school as learning organization can be grounded, the study is using ‘The learning disciplines’ (Senge et al., 1996:4). According to Peter Senge (1990: 3) learning organizations are: …organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. While all people have the capacity to learn, the structures in which they have to function are often not conducive to reflection and engagement. Furthermore, people may lack the tools and guiding ideas to make sense of the situations they face. Organizations that are continually expanding their capacity to create their future require a fundamental shift of mind among their members. For Peter Senge, real learning gets to the heart of what it is to be human. We become able to re-create ourselves. This applies to both individuals and organizations. Thus, for a ‘learning organization it is not enough to survive. ‘”Survival learning” or what is more often termed “adaptive learning” is important – indeed it is necessary. But for a learning organization, “adaptive learning” must be joined by “generative learning”, learning that enhances our capacity to create’ (Senge 1990:14).
The dimension that distinguishes learning from more traditional organizations is the mastery of certain basic disciplines or ‘component technologies’. The five that Peter Senge identifies are said to be converging to innovate learning organizations. They are: Systems thinking, Personal mastery, Mental models, Building shared vision & Team learning
According to Senge et al. (1996:194) "the term mastery evolved from the medieval French, maitre, which meant someone who was exceptionally proficient and skilled — a master of a craft". Maitre as it is used today means the capacity, not only to produce results, but also to master the principles that underpin the way an individual produces those results. Mastery is a commitment to be the best in whatever is done (Secretan, 1997:54). Educators who strive to become "masters of their craft" are often those who would be described as being committed to their work in their respective schools. According to Zecha (1994:6) and Kushman (1992:6), "there are two types of educator commitment, namely organizational commitment and commitment to student learning" which are effective ingredients for transforming schools into learning organisations.
Research by Senge et al. (1996:235-236) indicates that "mental models are subjective images, deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations and stories that people carry in their minds about themselves, other people, institutions and events that take place in the world". These mental maps act as a filtering system for our judgments and influence how we take actions based on these judgments. If these mental maps or models are not questioned they could become blockages to change. To succeed in transforming schools into learning organizations it is important that individual educators learn how to unearth their internal pictures (subjective images) of the world and bring these to the surface and critically scrutinize them. This can be done if meaningful conversations are encouraged in the school, where educators expose their own thinking patterns and also listen to other colleagues. These conversations can influence individuals to shift their thinking patterns and see the other side of the story.
"A shared vision is an all-encompassing world view which provides focus for an individual and the team concerning what is to be learnt and what is to be valued" (Bierema & Berdish, 1996:6). This shared vision answers the question: "What will success look like"? This question acts as a motivating force for sustained action to achieve individual and school goals. It is a guiding image of success formed in terms of a contribution to the school. According to Johnson and Johnson (1994:9) "a shared vision creates a basic sense of sink or swim together among the members of the school." A powerful vision binds educators to mutual commitments through collaboration to achieve individual and school goals.
The discipline of team learning starts with dialogue, which is the capacity of members of a team to suspend their assumptions and enter into a genuine thinking together. According to Senge et al., 1996:352), "team learning is the discipline that has to do with learning about alignment." Alignment means functioning as a whole or in a cohesive group committed to a common purpose. This alignment is achieved through sustained dialogue that may result in knowledge sharing and recognizing interdependencies among team members (Murgatroyd & Morgan, 1993:73). The discipline of dialogue involves learning how to recognize the patterns of interaction in teams that undermine learning. The patterns of defensiveness are often deeply ingrained in how a team operates. Therefore, the impact of team learning is the establishment of shared values, vision, mission, and core strategies to achieve individual and school goals. The fifth discipline, systems thinking, incorporates the other four learning disciplines.
Systems thinking is based on system dynamics; it is highly conceptual and provides ways of understanding practical school issues. It looks at systems in terms of particular types of cycles and it includes explicit system modeling of complex issues. The discipline of systems thinking teaches that in any social phenomenon it is important to look at the whole picture. In systems thinking the school is looked at as a system that is interconnected to different parts of life that intersect and influence each other. These interrelated parts are bound together in such a way that they become coherent to one another (French & Bell, 1995:93). The components of a school include learners, educators, context, student learning processes and any identifiable component that affects learning. Therefore, the essence of systems thinking lies in a shift of mind to one that sees:• interrelationships rather than linear cause-effect chains; and • processes of change rather than snap shots. The discipline of systems thinking starts with understanding the concept of feedback: that is how actions can reinforce or counteract (balance) each other. In trying to build effective learning environments, educators have to learn to see the deeper patterns and interrelationships of change.
Leadership is a described as being one of social science’s most examined phenomena (Antonakis, Cianciolo, & Sternberg, 2004). Shoemaker (1998) suggested that leadership is difficult to characterize as the field is punctured by inconclusive definitions as to the role and function of leadership. The latest chapter in the almost 100 year history of leadership research is dominated by the development of transformational leadership theory embodied in the Full Range of Leadership Model (Antonakis, et al., 2004; Bass, 1998). This approach to leadership focuses on the charismatic and affective elements of leadership. Northouse (2004) described transformational leadership as “a process that changes and transforms individuals. It is concerned with emotions, values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals, and includes assessing followers’ motives, satisfying their needs, and treating them as full human beings” (p. 169). Furthermore, as Bass (1985) advocated, by engaging in transformational leadership behaviors a leader transforms followers. In reality this means that “followers are changed from being self-centered individuals to being committed members of a group, they are then able to perform at levels far beyond what normally might have been expected” (Antonakis, et al., 2004, p.175).
The model of transformational leadership includes a continuum of transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire forms of leadership. Each form characterizes aspects of the dynamic process of interaction between leader and follower but identifies certain patterns and features to distinguish transformational leadership from transactional and laissez-faire styles (Avolio, 1999). The transformational leader pays particular attention to others’ needs, which, in turn, raises followers’ levels of motivation (Avolio, 1999; Bass, 1998). Furthermore, a leader of this type encourages others to reach their full potential while also adopting a strong ethical characteristic. Whereas, transactional leaders, “approach followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another” (Burns, 1978, p. 4), with the leader’s use of either reward or punishment contingent on the follower’s completion or non-completion of assigned tasks. Laissez-faire leadership involves indifference and avoidance as a leader with this profile will “avoid making decisions, abdicate responsibilities, divert attention from hard choices, and will talk about getting down to work, but never really does” (Bass, 1998, p. 148).
Senge proposes that in learning organizations the leader's "new work" should include a commitment to:
being the organization's architect;
providing stewardship; and
being a teacher.
For schools to become learning organizations, the school's leader(s) must accept responsibility for creating conditions that promote and enhance that learning. Principals must create opportunities for teachers to acquire information about what is occurring in the school and engage them in finding solutions to the problems that occur. A fundamental difference between the old view of leadership and that proposed by Senge is that the leader has a responsibility to create opportunities for teachers to learn about current research and apply that research in their classrooms in an environment that promotes learning. Perhaps most important of all, principals need to create a climate that promotes risk taking and eliminates the fear of failure. If these things can be done successfully schools will then possess the capacity to develop a shared vision about what needs to be done and engage in the kinds of activities that are needed to make their shared vision a reality.
Organizational culture has been defined from various perspectives (Carroll and Nafukho, 2006; Popper and Lipshitz, 1995; Shien, 1990; Alvesson, 2002; Cook and Yanow, 1993; Adler and Jelinek, 1996; Argris, 1999). According to Marguardt (2002), culture is “an organization’s values, beliefs, practices, rituals and customs”. The culture of a learning organization habitually learns and works to integrate processes in all organization functions. In effect, the learning organization’s culture is constantly evolving and travels along an infinite continuum in a harmonious learning environment. Ultimately, the goal is an exchange of useful knowledge leading to innovation, and improved learning public organizations.
The various terms used in the context of organizational culture are: values, ethics, beliefs, ethos, climate, environmental culture. Ethics refers to normative aspects to what is socially desirable. Values, beliefs: attitudes and norms are interrelated. Interaction between beliefs and values results in attitude formation and then produces norms. Values and benefits are the core, while attitudes are the next layer, followed by the norms or behavior. Then these get institutionalized, or when they accumulate and integrate we have social phenomena.
The eight important values relevant to institution building are openness, confrontation, trust, authenticity, pro-action, autonomy, collaboration and experimentation.
Openness: openness can be defined as a spontaneous expression of feeling and thoughts, and the sharing of these without defensiveness. Openness is in both directions, receiving and giving. Both these may relate to ideas (including suggestions, feedback (including criticism), and feelings. For example, openness means receiving without reservation, and taking steps to encourage more feedbacks and suggestions from customers, colleagues and others. Similarly, it means giving without hesitation, ideas, information, feedback, feelings, etc. openness may also mean spatial openness, in terms of accessibility.
Confrontation: confrontation can be defined as facing rather than shying away from problems. It also implies deeper analysis of interpersonal problems. All this involves taking up challenges.
Trust: trust is not used in the moral sense. It is reflected in maintaining the confidentiality of information shared by others, and in not misusing it. It is also reflected in a sense of a assurance that others will help, when such help is needed and will honor mutual commitments and obligations. Trust is also reflected in accepting what another person says at face value, and not searching for ulterior motives. Trust is an extremely important ingredient in the institution building processes.
Authenticity: authenticity is the congruence between what one feels, says and does. It is reflected in owning up one’s mistakes, and in unreserved sharing of feelings. Authenticity is closer to openness. The outcome of authenticity in an organization is reduced distortion in communication.
Pro-action: pro-action means taking initiative, preplanning and taking preventive action, and calculating the payoffs of an alternative course before taking action. The term pro-act can be contrasted with the term react. Pro-activity gives initiative to the person to start a new process or set a new pattern of behavior. Pro-activity involves unusual behavior. In this sense pro-activity means freeing oneself from, and taking action beyond immediate concerns. A person showing pro-activity functions at all the three levels of feeling, thinking and action.
Autonomy: Autonomy is using and giving freedom to plan and act in one’s own sphere. It means respecting and encouraging individual and role autonomy. It develops mutual respect and is likely to result in willingness to take on responsibility, individual initiative, better succession planning. The main indicator of autonomy is effective delegation in organization and reduction in references made to senior people for approval of planned actions.
Collaboration: Collaboration is giving help to, and asking for help from, others. It means working together (individuals and groups to solve problems and team spirit. The outcome of collaboration includes timely help, team work, sharing of experiences, improved communication and improved resource sharing.
Experimenting: Experimenting means using and encouraging innovative approaches to solve problems, using feedbacks for improving, taking a fresh look at things and encouraging creativity.
Mowday, Steers and Porter (1979, p. 226), defined commitment as ‘the relative strength of an individual’s identification with, and involvement in a particular organization’. Although many definitions of commitment have been presented since the seminal work of Mowday et al. (1979), it is the conception of Meyer and Allen (1991), which identifies three distinctive dimensions – affective, normative, and continuance – that has been the cornerstone of extant theorizing in the area of commitment (Herrbach, 2006).
Mowday, Porter and Steers (1982) Model
Commitment (Attitudinal Commitment), to an organization involves three components: (a) a strong belief in and acceptance of organizational goals and values, (b) a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization, and (c) a strong desire to maintain membership in the organization (Mowday et al., 1982). Research on organizational commitment has been examined primarily in relation to labour turnover (Ferris & Aranya, 1983; Hom, Katerberg & Hulin, 1979; Huselid & Day, 1991; Mowday, Steers & Porter, 1979; O'Reilly & Caldwell, 1980; Wiener & Vardi, 1980; Steers, 1977; Stumpf & Hartman, 1984).
Meyer and Allen (1997) Model
Meyer and Allen (1997) view organizational commitment as a ‘three component’ concept. The three components in their model are ‘Affective’, ‘Continuous’, and ‘Normative’. The affective commitment describes the emotional attachment an individual has with the organization, their identification with the goals and values of the organization and the level of their involvement (Zanagro, 2001). Affective commitment is taken as a construct closely related to identification (Bergami & Bagozzi, 2000). Continuance commitment is based on the cost that an employee associates with leaving the organizations, such as reduction in pay, pension, benefits, or facilities (Herbiniak & Alluto, 1972). Normative commitment is associated with employees’ feelings of obligation to continue employment due to the work culture and other socially accepted norms (Weiner & Gechman, 1977). The less common approach to viewing commitment is in terms of obligation. Of the three components least is known about the development of normative commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1997). The three dimensions highlight commitment from the perspectives of attachment, obligation, and necessity respectively.
From the above conceptual framework, a model is drawn for better understanding.
Student & Institutional Development
Review of Literature
Schools as Learning Organization
Bowen et.al., 2007-Assessing the Functioning of Schools as Learning Organizations: Using data from the population of employees in 11 middle schools in North Carolina and building on an earlier analysis, this study examines the reliability and validity of a new assessment tool for assessing schools as learning organizations: the School Success Profile Learning Organization. The results align with the conceptual model that informed the development of the measure, including support for the two hypothesized learning organization components: actions and sentiments.
Kelleher Michael, 2007 – Learning Organization: The author designed a model for a learning organization: The model of the learning organization, with its three dimensional approach, proposes strategies within the domains of individual, team and organizational learning. He concluded by saying if lifelong learning is to become a reality, it will become increasingly important to ensure that strategies and actions support the development of learning organizations. If overlooked, the world of work could well be that area of people’s lives where learning is not explicit, supported and developed.
Moloi K.C..et al., 2006 - Educators’ perceptions of the school as a learning organization in the Vanderbijlpark-North District, South Africa: This article outlines the principal findings of research that sought to provide a comprehensive understanding of schools as learning organizations in the Vanderbijl Park-North District of the Gauteng province of South Africa. The quantitative research methodology used was of major importance in obtaining data that were grounded largely on the theoretical framework of learning organizations as well as in the personal experiences of educators and principals. A major finding was that the learning disciplines of personal mastery, mental models, a shared vision, teamwork and systems thinking were fundamental to two factors: namely, a collaborative culture and personal beliefs about educator commitment.
Cheewaruengroj Waraporn, 2006 - A Study of Factors Correlating with the Learning Organization of Schools under the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bangkok: The study was conducted in five schools under the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bangkok. Five factors that could influence a school to be a learning organization was investigated which are: teacher and teamwork practices, technology and work systems, performance goals and feedback practices, motivation, executive and managerial practices. The study indicated that 1. All the respondents’ opinion toward status of factors correlating with learning organization and learning organization of schools under the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bangkok are high. 2. The administrators and teachers perceived a significant positive relationship at significance level 0.01 between factors under study and school learning organization. 3. Executive and managerial practices have a positive relation with learning organizations.
Agaoglu Esmahan, 2006 - The Reflection of the Learning Organization Concept to School of Education: The author says that an organization should adopt the education as a life style and transform them to learning organization. This situation is current for educational organizations. The societies of today need the individuals who know how to reach knowledge, how to convert the gained knowledge to the behaviors, how to produce new knowledge using them. For growing up the individuals who have these characteristics, educational organizations have to transform to learning organizations. In this process, the teachers also have important role. For this reason, it was realized a descriptive study, which aimed to determine whether the schools of education have the learning organization features. The sample group of study is the academic staff of the school of education at Anadolu University. The data was gathered with the questionnaire of learning organization features. At the end of study, it was found that the academic staff believed the faculty had many features of learning organization, but some deficiencies about strategies.
Bowen Gary L. et al., 2005 - The Reliability and Validity of the School Success Profile Learning Organization Measure: The learning organization concept has increasing significance for public schools, in the context of higher standards for student performance. This article examines the reliability and validity of a new measure of organizational learning: the School Success Profile-Learning Organization (SSP-LO). The reliability and validity of the instrument appear promising.
Silins Halia, 2002 - What characteristics and processes define a school as a learning organisation? Is this a useful concept to apply to schools?: The concept of secondary schools as learning organizations was being examined as part of a research project involving South Australian and Tasmanian secondary schools. Learning organizations were defined as schools that: employ processes of environmental scanning; develop shared goals; establish collaborative teaching and learning environments; encourage initiatives and risk taking; regularly review all aspects related to and influencing the work of the school; recognize and reinforce good work; and, provide opportunities for continuing professional development. A survey of 2,000 teachers and principals was conducted. The discussion clarifies the characteristics and processes recognized as existing in secondary schools that relate to the reconceptualization of schools as learning organizations and addresses the usefulness of this approach.
Silins Halia ,et al., 2002 - Schools as learning organizations: The case for system, teacher and student learning: An Australian government-funded four-year research project involving 96 secondary schools, over 5,000 students and 3,700 teachers and their principals has provided a rich source of information on schools conceptualized as learning organizations. The LOLSO project focused on three aspects of high school functioning: leadership, organizational learning and the impact of both on student outcomes. This research has established a relationship between the system factors of leadership and organizational learning and student outcomes as measured by student levels of participation in and engagement with school. This paper summarizes this research and reports on a study that empirically tests the relationship between students’ participation in and engagement with school and student achievement using model building and path analysis. The importance of learning at the system, teacher and student level is discussed in the context of school restructuring.
Dill. David, 1999 –Academic Accountability and University Adaptation: The Architecture of an Academic Learning Organization – In this article the author address the question, “What are the organizational characteristics of an academic learning organization?” It reviews the adaptations in organizational structure and governance reported by universities attempting to improve the quality of their teaching and learning processes. The analysis has suggested 5 elements that appear distinctive to the university sector: 1. Culture of evidence, 2.Improved coordination of teaching units, 3.Learning from others, 4. University-wide coordination of "learning", 5. Transferring knowledge.
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Learning Organization & Leadership
Martoo Gladys, 2006 – Reculturing a School as a learning Organization: Investigative narratives of two Queensland Schools: The focus of this study has been to connect the idea of developing schools as learning organizations with the notion of developing learning leaders and building school capacity for knowledge economy. This was an action-inquiry self study to examine the issues of cirricullum reform in the context of more general organizational reforms. This study has also explored the notion of schools being re-cultured or reconstructed to work as learning organization in a climate that focuses on improved social and academic learning outcomes of their students.
Southworth Geoff, 2002 - Instructional Leadership in Schools: Reflections and empirical evidence: This paper examines the notion of instructional leadership. The paper argues that more inclusive, differentiated, holistic and learning-centered accounts are needed. It examines definitions of 'instructional leadership'. Empirical evidences about such leadership, drawing upon work in the USA and England is detailed. The highlights of the study are: the importance of leaders being learners, the implications for leadership development and the importance of creating and sustaining certain organizational conditions which facilitate instructional leadership. It ends with the point that instructional leadership is becoming more significant with the growing emphasis on organizational learning.
Silins Halia, 2000 - Towards an optimistic future: schools as learning organizations - effects on teacher leadership and student outcomes: A four dimensional model of organizational learning was confirmed and employed to identify conditions fostering organizational learning in Australian secondary schools. The predominant influences of leadership, organizational learning and significant teacher effects on student participation in and engagement with school were discussed. This paper examines further the nature of organizational learning and the leadership practices and processes that foster organizational learning and, more importantly, the impact of these variables on teacher leadership. A path model is used to test these school variables as well as school characteristics such as availability of resources and community focus against the impact of students' home environment on students' views of teachers' work in the classroom and student outcomes such as attendance, and participation in and engagement with school. The importance of re-conceptualizing schools as learning organizations to promote successful school change is discussed.
Bierema, Laura L, 1999- The Process of the Learning Organization: Making Sense of Change: This study provides an overview of the various models for studying and implementing learning organizations. It gives clear concept of the learning organization, importance & implications of Leadership of a learning organization venture and the significance of creating learning partnerships.
Bamburg Jerry D, 1997 - Learning, Learning Organizations, and Leadership: Implications for the Year 2050: What is also clear is that leadership is a critical component of the transformation of education. The article presents a conceptual framework that describes the new form of leadership that will be needed if the transformation of schools into learning organizations is to occur. The author explores the different leadership roles in schools and establishes its importance in making a school a learning organization.
Dever, John T, 1997 - Reconciling educational leadership and the learning organization: The author discusses the applicability of a learning organization developed by Peter Senge to educational leadership. He uses a model for the creation of organizational structures and discusses at length on the rejection of traditional view of leaders, he explores the compatibility of a strong leadership with the model for institutions of higher education and his Model's aid in the re-conceptualization of collegial practices.
Learning Organization and Organizational Culture
Fard Hasan Danaee, et al., 2009 - How Types of Organizational Cultures Contribute in Shaping Learning Organizations: The main purpose of this empirical study was to examine the relationship between four types of organizational cultures and the shaping learning organization. In this study, they have selected two groups of public organizations (more successful and less successful public organizations). The sample of this study comprises senior employees of these two groups. Results of Spearman Rank Correlation and Fridman tests reveal that there is a significant correlation between organizational cultures and learning organizations in Iranian public organizations. In addition, they found that although participative culture has a higher correlation coefficient, but learning culture has the highest ranking among different types of cultures.
Mestry Raj, et al., 2009 - The role of leaders in shaping school culture: The article explores how Schools have become diversified and leaders should therefore display several important qualities when creating a new culture for schools. Leaders are expected to know deeper meanings embedded in the school before trying to reshape it. It is also essential for leaders to uncover and articulate core values, searching for those that reinforce what is best for learners and that support learner-centered earning. Emphasis is placed on the need for school leaders to continually and explicitly create and manage culture in order for schools to become adept at innovating within the pervasive context of educational diversity and renewal. Leaders have to communicate core values in their actions, they honor and recognize those who have worked to serve learners and the purpose of the school, they observe rituals and traditions to support the school’s heart and soul, they eloquently speak of the deeper mission of the school, and they celebrate the accomplishments of the staff, the learners and the community.
Nazir A. Nazir and Lone Mushtaq A., 2008 - Validation Of Denison’s Model Of Organizational Culture And Effectiveness In The Indian Context: Taking cue from the recent surge in organizational culture and effectiveness studies’ mainly in Western countries, this study investigated the link between these two constructs using Denison’s Organizational Culture Survey (DOCS) in the Indian context. The results, besides finding a strong support for the DOCS model, indicated that of the four cultural traits studied – involvement, adaptability, mission, and consistency, mission was found to be a single most cultural trait responsible for a number of bottom-line performance indicators.
Kenny Breda & Reedy Eileen, 2007 - The Impact of Organizational Culture Factors on Innovation Levels in SMEs: An Empirical Investigation: This paper presents the results from a quantitative study on innovation in SMEs (small to medium enterprises). Data was obtained from a total of twenty-five respondents to a questionnaire regarding innovation within companies. The findings deal with issues such as current innovation strategies, product and process innovation, drivers, constraints and sources of innovation, and the company environment and cultural factors that contribute to innovation within companies. The paper concludes with a discussion of the salient cultural factors that can contribute to the stimulation of innovation and creativity within organizations.
Raywid, M.A, 2001- School Culture: This book speaks on how school’s culture is inextricably linked to classroom culture. The resource discusses the meaning of organizational culture and explores the challenge of building school culture. The book details on tools for assessing your existing culture, developing group norms, and generating effective intergenerational dialogue. The resources explore various approaches to the issue of organizational culture, including techniques from the business world, the connection to physical spaces, and the use of traditions.
Ouchi William & Wilkins Alan, 1985- Organizational Culture: The authors have reviewed current work on theory, empirical studies, and contributions to the understanding of planned change of organizations. This contemporary study of organizational culture reflects several hotly contested concerns, among which are the following: can culture be internationally managed? Must culture be studied using the tools of the phenomenologist or the ethnographer, or does the use of multivariate statistics also have a place. Which social science paradigm is most appropriate for understanding organizational culture: Phenomenology, symbolic interaction, semiotics, structural-functional anthropology or cognitive psychology?
Learning Organization and Personal Commitment
Kholeka Moloi, 2010 - How can schools build learning organizations in difficult education contexts? : This study is about the study of learning organizations within the education sector and particularly in schools working in difficult socio-economic contexts. This qualitative study has sought evidence from teachers, in one of the districts of Gauteng province, through in-depth, semi-structured focus group interviews to establish what a learning organization is. Using data obtained through two in-depth, semi-structured focus group interviews with 16 teachers, themes were constructed to theorize their experiences on what a learning organization is. The results showed that teacher commitment to personal learning enhanced student achievement. This study contributes to the understanding of theories on learning organizations from the experiences of these teachers working in disadvantaged townships schools.
Mathew Jossy & Ogbonna Emmanuel, 2009 - Organizational culture and commitment: a study of an Indian software organization: This study adopts a three perspective framework (Martin 1992, 2002) to explore the impact of organizational culture on organizational commitment in a context (software sector in India) that is renowned to be dynamic and people-centered. The study adopts ethnographic methods including in-depth interviews, observation and document analysis. The findings lead to the development of a range of insights into the integrated, differentiated and fragmented nature of organizational culture and the impact of these on the perception of linkages with organizational commitment. The paper argues that adopting all three perspectives of culture in the study of culture-commitment linkages in a single organization reveals significant insights into the perceived associations, while at the same time highlighting the problematic nature of such relationships.
Brown Barbara B, 2003 - Employees’ Organizational Commitment and Their Perception of Supervisors’ Relations-Oriented and Task-Oriented Leadership Behaviors: Bass & Avolio's (1995) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire was used to measure relations-oriented and task-oriented leadership behaviors. Meyer & Allen’s (1997) Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ) was used to measure organizational commitment. The findings resulted in an arrangement of relations-oriented and task-oriented subscales that was different than the arrangement proposed by Bass & Avolio (1995). Correlations for the MLQ Form 5X revealed multi-collinearity among all the relations oriented subscales and two of the task-oriented subscales, preventing any interpretations about the amount of variance that any particular type of relations-oriented or task-oriented leadership behavior might explain in organizational commitment. Relations-oriented leadership behaviors explained the greatest amount of variance in affective commitment, somewhat less variance in normative commitment, and no variance in continuance commitment. The results for task-oriented leadership behaviors revealed the same pattern of relationships with the different types of organizational commitment, only weaker.
Hawkins Wilbert D, 1998 -Predictors Of Affective Organizational Commitment Among High School Principals: This study was an assessment of the importance of age, gender, organizational tenure, perceived organizational support, perceived fairness, and perceived autonomy in explaining affective organizational commitment among high school principals in the United States. Stepwise multiple-regression was used to determine which independent variables explained a portion of the dependent variable, affective organizational commitment. Results of the stepwise multiple-regression indicated that 58 percent of the variation in affective organizational commitment among high school principals was explained by perceived fairness, organizational tenure, perceived organizational support, and high school principals’ age. Perceived fairness explained the greatest percentage of variation; age, which entered the regression equation, explained the least amount of variation. This study indicates that high school principals, first and foremost, valued fairness from school districts in return for their commitment to school districts. The challenge for superintendents and others who work with high school principals is to maintain fairness in educational settings where there are many diverse and competing student needs in the same school district.
Coladarci Theodore, 1992 - Teachers' Sense of Efficacy and Commitment to Teaching: This study examined the degree to which teachers' sense of efficacy, as well as other hypothesized influences on commitment to teaching. General and personal efficacy emerged as the two strongest predictors of teaching commitment, along with teacher-student ratio, school climate, and sex. Greater teaching commitment tended to be expressed by those teachers who were higher in both general and personal efficacy; who taught in schools with fewer students per teacher; and who worked under a principal regarded positively in the areas of instructional leadership, school advocacy, decision making, and relations with students and staff. Teaching commitment also was higher for female teachers.
Romzek Barbara S, 1989 - Personal Consequences of Employee Commitment: This study examined the effect of employee commitment on individuals' non-work and career satisfactions. Data on public employees' attitudes indicated that the individual consequences of employee commitment are positive; supporting the notion that psychological attachment to a work organization yields personal benefits for individuals. These results contradict the notion that people necessarily pay a high personal price for high levels of employee commitment and caution against viewing psychological attachment as a zero-sum phenomenon.
Inferences drawn from literature survey
The concept of Learning organization being used in academic institutions is only a very recent trend (from a decade or so). Theories by Peter Senge, Garvin, Kelleher, Benenett & O’brien, Watkins & Marsick, Marquardt & Reynolds etc are being explored on, Peter Senge being the most prominent theory. Reviews indicate that transforming schools into learning organizations would take the educational institutions into higher levels of achievement in areas of student outcomes, leadership, commitment, relationships, healthy culture and overall functioning of the institutions.
Many researches’ have indicated a positive relationship between leadership and learning organization. The different styles of leadership have been explored in academic institutions, most common being transformational, transactional and instructional leadership styles. Some studies have indicated the impact of leadership skills and styles on the development of the educational institution into a learning organization. The most common tool used in measuring the Leadership style is the multifactor leadership questionnaire.
Organizational Culture is co-related to leadership and Learning Organization in many studies. Theories on culture by Denison, Hellsigle & Slocans etc have been used in exploring the culture in academic institutions. The different types of cultures and their influence on learning organizations and leadership of academic institutions have been worked on. All researches reviewed show high positive relationships and impacts between learning organizations, leadership, organizational Culture and Commitment.
Very less review was found in the area of personal commitment. Researchers have worked on organizational commitment and professional commitment. Theories of Allen & Meyer, Kanchan Kohli have been explored. The three types of organizational commitment namely affective, continuance and normative have been researched on, in which each type having its own influence in the commitment of teachers in academic institutions.
However, the researches reviewed have not highlighted this new concept of learning organizations in the Indian academic institutions. The present investigation is an attempt to address this gap in a systematic and scientific manner.
Learning Organization: Peter Senge (1990: 3) ….Organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.
Leadership: Northouse (2004) described transformational leadership as “a process that changes and transforms individuals. It is concerned with emotions, values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals, and includes assessing followers’ motives, satisfying their needs, and treating them as full human beings”.
Organizational Culture: Marguardt (2002), culture is “an organization’s values, beliefs, practices, rituals and customs”. The culture of a learning organization habitually learns and works to integrate processes in all organization functions. In effect, the learning organization’s culture is constantly evolving and travels along an infinite continuum in a harmonious learning environment. Ultimately, the goal is an exchange of useful knowledge leading to innovation, and improved learning public organizations.
Commitment means to show loyalty, duty or pledge to something or someone.
Personal commitment, interaction dominated by obligations. These obligations may be mutual, or self-imposed, or explicitly stated, or may not. It is also a pledge or promise to ones' self for personal growth.
Objectives of the study
The objectives of this research are to:
• investigate which essential components are necessary for schools to function as learning organizations;
• investigate the impact of Leadership, Organizational Culture and Personal Commitment on a learning organization;
• provide guidelines that educators could possibly use to transform their schools into environments of effective learning.
Variables of the Study
Independent Variables: Leadership, Organizational Culture and Personal Commitment
Dependent Variable: Learning Organization
Demographic Variables: Age, Gender, years of experience, type of School, Type of Syllabus followed, Marital Status, Educational Qualification, Income…………
Major Hypotheses of the study
Design of the study - Methodology
Sample : Multistage Stratified random sampling - first level at type of school and second level type of syllabus followed. 500 schools teachers from across schools in the city of Bangalore.
Tools of the study
Learning Organization Profile (LOP) Questionnare
Multifactor Leadership Questionnare (MLQ)- Bass & Aviola
Personal Commitment – researcher made
t-test – Significant differences
Multi Regression analysis
Delimitations of the study
Estimation of time
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