NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1106198
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1474-9041
Organisational Routines--The Interplay of Legal Standards and Professional Discretion
Ottesen, Eli; Møller, Jorunn
European Educational Research Journal, v15 n4 p428-446 Jul 2016
Discretion is described as a hallmark of professional work. Professional discretion rests on trust in the ability of certain occupational groups to make sound decisions 'on behalf' of societal authorities. It has been suggested that in Europe, managerialist-influenced policies with increased focus on control and accountability have placed pressure on professional discretion. Although earlier studies have demonstrated tensions between external and internal accountability, they have not highlighted how legal forms of authority are key aspects in the regulation of education, or how professionals handle legal standards in their practices. The purpose of this study is to understand the interplay between legal standards and professional discretion. An organisational-routines perspective is used to examine this interplay. Empirically, the students' legal rights to a good psychosocial environment are used as a case. Based on interviews with principals, deputies and teachers in Norwegian schools, the paper examines how legal norms are translated into social practices, and how practitioners construct and legitimise their work. The study shows how preventive and remedial measures are prevalent in Norwegian schools. When laws and regulations require specific procedures, they are transformed into routines based on the schools' iterative practices. The study adds an empirical analysis to current understandings of juridification in education.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A