ERIC Number: ED109768
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Notes on the Structure of Educational Organizations. Occasional Paper No. 3.
Meyer, John W.
Evidence suggests that educational organizations lack internal coordination. This is especially true of the content and methods of what is presumably their central activity--instruction. Instruction tends to be removed from the control of the organizational structure, both in its bureaucratic aspects and in its professional or collegial aspects. Such organizations are "loosely coupled," which means that structure is disconnected from activity, and activity is disconnected from its effects. For instance, there is no technology or program of instruction that is of established or consensual efficacity. Thus, it is difficult even to establish standards of content and procedure in instruction. Despite this lack of coordination, the educational system and its organizations appear to have considerable stability. That is the problem of this paper--to explain how organizations with few controls over their central activity persist so stably, and to explain how implicit coordination is achieved. The explanation takes two forms--a general explanation of how substantive educational activity is coordinated outside of organizational (or professional) forms, and a discussion of the implications of this explanation for the understanding of educational organizations, decision-making, change in educational organizations, and theory of organizations. Areas of needed research are pointed out. (Author/IRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Stanford Center for Research and Development in Teaching.
Note: Not available in hard copy due to marginal reproducibility of original document