ERIC Number: ED202142
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
Institutional and Technical Sources of Organizational Structure Explaining the Structure of Educational Organizations.
Meyer, John W.; And Others
Models of organizational structures developed through the study of commercial organizations are not necessarily applicable to educational organizations. Technical organizations such as factories act to regulate the flow of their processes and products and, thus, to buffer them from external forces. Institutional organizations such as schools or school systems seek to conform to the institutional environment, including the expectations of their constituents and, thus, buffer themselves from their own technical work processes. An institutional theory of educational organization offers explanations of the structural conformity and overall homogeneity of the system, and of its overall focus on organizational responsiveness to internal and external constituents. The absence of clearly understood and efficacious technical processes for obtaining desired educational outcomes would threaten the legitimacy and resources of the organization if a tightly coupled technical organizational structure were used. The institutional model needs further development, which should include reconceptualization of the distinction between technical and institutional environments, clarification of the kinds of "buffering" practiced, and specification of the nature of organizational success. (PGD)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Institutional Environment, Institutional Research, Models, Organizational Theories, School Organization
Publications, Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, School of Education/CERAS Bldg., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305 ($1.00).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.
Identifiers: Institutional Organization Theory
Note: Paper prepared for a conference on Human Service Organizations at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford, CA, March 2-3, 1979).