ERIC Number: ED262480
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: N/A
American High School as a Clan: Dynamics of Organization and Leadership.
Owens, Robert G.
Using ethnographic methods of field work and data analysis, this study investigated one example of a comprehensive senior high school to illuminate the nature of its organizational structure and the way in which organizational control and leadership is exercised. Three principal findings emerged from theme analysis of the data. First, organizational culture is salient in understanding the organizational characteristics of the school. Values shared by professional personnel in the school and reinforced by legends, heroes, stories, rituals, and ceremonies were powerful in the exercise of control and organizational discipline. Second, the school was multicultural, in that subunits of the school possess distinctive values of their own, even while they share in the overall culture of the school. Third, the high school is aptly described by the metaphor of the clan, which suggests concepts about the exercise of control and leadership that differ from either the classic concepts of bureaucracy or more recent metaphors such as loose coupling. The clan of the particular school reported in this study is described as being impoverished, professional, and embattled. The study concludes that organizational culture may be important in understanding the causative interactions between organization and leadership on the one hand and organizational climate on the other. (Author/TE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A