ERIC Number: ED343224
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Research on High Reliability Organizations: Implications for School Effects Research, Policy, and Educational Practice.
Current theorizing in education, as in industry, is largely devoted to explaining trial-and-error, failure-tolerant, low-reliability organizations. This article examines changing societal demands on education and argues that effective responses to those demands require new and different organizational structures. Schools must abandon industrial efficiency models and assume the following operating characteristics of high reliability organizations (HROs), which: (1) require clear goals; (2) extend formal, logical decision analysis, based on standard operating procedures (SOPs), to the limits of extant knowledge; (3) recruit and train extensively to compel adherence to SOPs; (4) take initiatives identifying flaws in SOPs and nominate changes to correct them; (5) are sensitive to areas requiring judgment-based, incremental strategies; (6) feature mutual monitoring by administrators and line staff; (7) are alert to surprises and lapses; (8) are hierarchically structured, but allow considerable discretion and close interdependence during times of peak activity; (9) are not rule-driven when responding to potentially disastrous situations; (10) maintain equipment in highest working order; (11) are valued by their supervising organizations; and (12) value high reliability over short-term efficiency. For schools to become HROs would involve substantial changes. Links with HRO literature and school effects research are discussed, along with implications of HRO findings for policy, future research, and school improvement. (43 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: High Reliability Organizations; Implications
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, January 1992).