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ERIC Number: ED515006
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 150
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-1217-9
The Nature of the Liaison in Developing and Sustaining Successful Business Partnerships with High Schools
Murray, Maureen S.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Lowell
High schools in the United States have been the focus of reform efforts for the past decade, and the business community has been quite vocal in the debate about how to improve public education. Business representatives are concerned that while the demands in the workplace have changed significantly, with most jobs requiring some education beyond high school, the United States no longer boasts having the best-educated workforce in the world (Barton, 2006; Eaton, 2007; National Association of Secondary School Principals [NASSP], 1996; Nelson, 2007; Vockley, 2002). The voice of industry may be the loudest in the cry for change, yet, at the same time, businesses may offer some of the solution to the problem, as strategies for reforming our nation's high schools often include developing business partnerships to improve graduation rates and to prepare students for postsecondary education or work (Barton; 2006; Casner-Lotto & Barrington, 2002; Eaton, 2007). The purpose of this study was to examine the current reality of America's high schools, the gap between business expectations and high school outcomes, and an integral part of high school reform - the development of business partnerships to improve high school education. A partnership seeks to blend two organizations and two structures, and, according to Bolman and Deal (2003), there must be identified goals and a liaison to coordinate and control the new entity to ensure its success. This qualitative study used an instrumental case study to investigate the background and training, structure, resources, functions, administrative support, motivators and challenges of school-based liaisons whose role is to develop and maintain business partnerships. Three liaisons at high schools with successful business partnerships were studied, and data were collected in the form of one questionnaire, two interviews with the liaisons, one interview with the school Principal, one interview with a business partner, photographs of the liaison's work space, and documents that pertain to the liaison position. Interviews with other personnel were conducted to gain additional insight into the liaison's role. NVIVO8, qualitative data analysis software, was used for data storage, organization, and analysis within each case and across the three cases. The findings of this study indicate that the role of the liaison is, in fact, critical to the process of establishing and maintaining successful business partnerships with schools. In addition to underscoring the need for the liaison, the findings also highlighted the importance of the background and training of the liaison, the structures needed to effectively perform the functions, the critical role of community connections of the liaison, the administrative support that, fosters effective performance of the liaison and the challenges and issues inherent in the position. The findings of this study offer specific information to assist school leaders in establishing or enhancing the critical position of a liaison to link schools and businesses, thus promoting opportunities for all students to reap the identified benefits of school and business partnerships. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States