ERIC Number: ED350663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
School District Restructuring and the Search for Coherence: A Case Study of Adaptive Realignment and Organizational Change.
Rowley, Stephen R.
Findings of a case study that examined restructuring and organizational change in a California school district over a 12-year period are presented in this paper. The research draws upon the conceptual framework of "adaptive realignment," a process in which an organization continually responds to external and internal changes as they occur. Data were derived from document analysis of district records and two phases of interviews. The first interviews were conducted with a total of 22 respondents: 2 superintendents, 3 board members, 3 central office administrators, 5 teachers, and 9 principals. The second stage involved 11 of the original sample. Shifting goals and strategies, an alternating locus of organizational control, poorly defined methods of sustaining change, and administrative turnover were identified as the dynamics that contributed to a seemingly incoherent pattern of adaptive realignment. When initial efforts to restructure the district through school-based management appeared unsuccessful, school officials ultimately chose short-term bureaucratic remedies to solve longstanding systemic problems. Conclusions are that: (1) a large gap exists between the rhetoric and reality of restructuring; (2) political community pressure for change may accelerate the process; and (3) models of school-based autonomy and centralized support may be integrated in practice. (Contains 43 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).