ERIC Number: ED317369
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Managing the Organizational Culture of Rural Schools: Creating Environments for Human Development.
Steinhoff, Carl R.; Owens, Robert G.
The factors of people, technology, structure, and task provide a sociotechnical model for understanding the essential elements of schools as organizations. Schools can be understood as cultures and managed as such. Effective schools focus on a task-oriented organizational culture that meaningfully involves all participants in the key elements of the decision-making process. The specific elements through which organizational culture is preserved, expressed and conveyed are: (1) its history; (2) its symbolic myths and stories; (3) its espoused values and beliefs; (4) expectations for behavior; (5) rites and rituals which have symbolic value; and (6) heroes and heroines that symbolize the organization. These elements intersect and overlap to describe the organizational culture of a particular school. Quality education has been associated with factors that reflect small and rural schools, such as strong ties between community and schools, the presence of supportive interpersonal environments, and the development and nurturance of an academic climate that encourages organizational participants to achieve their individual potentials. The following strengths of rural and small schools may be conducive to establishing superior learning environments: (1) a lack of distinction between what belongs in school and what belongs in the community; (2) a kind of generalism which expects people to do whatever they are able without specialized roles or strictly age-graded functions; (3) close and supportive ties between families and the school; (4) a sense of comfort and cooperative spirit among the students; and (5) rural independence and self-reliance translated into the school setting. This paper contains 21 reference notes. (ALL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A