ERIC Number: ED374522
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
The Identification of Underlying Cultural Assumptions in an Effective School.
Mells, Ronald L.
Although educational researchers are beginning to recognize the influence of organizational culture on organizational productivity, the term "organizational culture" has been defined from a variety of perspectives. This paper presents findings of a case study that investigated the cultural characteristics of a junior high school recognized for its effectiveness. The school was located in an urban school district with a 40-50 percent dropout rate. Data were collected through document analysis, observation, and interviews with 25 students, 11 teachers, and 2 administrators (a random sample from a population of 771). Kluchohn and Strodbeck's organizational-cultural paradigm (1961) is used to describe the school's basic assumptions about: (1) humanity's relationship to nature; (2) the nature of reality and truth; (3) the nature of human nature; (4) the nature of human activity; and (5) the nature of human relationships. Teachers expressed the following core values--trust, achievement, openness, innovation, networking, involvement, and recognition. A conclusion is that school culture is a sequence of complex shared behavior patterns that connect the artifacts, core values, and underlying assumptions that form a cultural paradigm. This culture will sustain itself over time as long as the linkages help the school survive. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).