Literature Review Chapter: Legacy Board Members and District

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¶ … Legacy Board Members and District Culture

From a theoretical and scientific perspective, there are compelling reasons for appreciating the role of organizational culture in shaping organizational processes and leadership. Since science seeks to develop universally valuable theories, principles and laws, there is a growing demand for organizational and leadership theories transcending cultures. Theories encounter inherent limitations as leaders seek to apply them across cultures. One tends to work in one culture does not work in a different culture. While focusing on cross-cultural issues, this study will help researchers reveal the new association by incorporating a wider range of factors regularly not considered in contemporary theories like political systems. Therefore, a review of literature on cross-cultural studies has helped expound on theories of organizational leadership and processed, processes and conforming to existing theories. This is achieved by incorporating various cultural aspects and moderators within the existing body of literature.

Literature Review

In the post-industrial society, the nature of work has changed considerably. This has affected the role of leaders in educational institutions. Understanding the nature and the role of readiness for it is based on recognizing the definition and organization of work in the 21st century (Cameron & Quinn, 2006). Among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), individual schools and school systems have experimented with new management cultures, which seek to operate schools in ways that are appropriate for the current century. In a number of countries, schools and wholly a responsibility of the government and thus, the elements driving government priorities are considerably important influences on the need for school reform, the direction of the reform and the resources available for the reform. There are three major approaches shaping school culture across OECD countries:

I. Organizational learning

II. New public management

III. Old public management

This literature review presents an examination of the three components of organizational culture in schools.

Old Public Management (OPM)

American administrations have been successful at coping with evolving environments. However, this has been achieved through ways that are detrimental to the existing management plans. While formal organization structures remained stable, practices have changed. In Old Public Management, managers including school leaders were rule-oriented bureaucrats implementing and sustaining legal norms with integrity based on the common good and neutrality (Wexler, 2010). This angle emphasized consistency, accountability, reliability, and predictability. Some researchers argue that the role of New Public Management, particularly in countries that form the European Union has remained modest, and the new public management principles are more attractive. A number of reports have recommended OECD nations to emulate business methods. As such, these reports claim that adopting Anglo-Saxon prescriptions is expected to cause disastrous and detrimental consequences for the OECD nations (Cameron & Quinn, 2006).

New Public Management (NPM)

Even though some authors believe that Old Public Management remains the most preferred approach to governance to achieve the increased expectations of educational institutions, New Public Management has emerged and dominated in various countries (Dougherty, 2014). The features of NPM include:

I. Reduced role of government in the provision of services

II. Decentralizing and downsizing the public sector

III. Labor market deregulation

IV. Imposition of a powerful feasible competition and accountability framework of the activities of the public sector

V. Explicit measures and standards of performance, clear indicators of success and targets

VI. An enhanced emphasis on output control

VII. A shift from government funding to privatization

VIII. A decrease in self-regulation authority of the profession (Johansson & Begley, 2013)

All the elements of the NPM have a shared strong reliance on school leadership for them to be successfully implemented. Looking at the accountability element in terms of effective leadership, the school principal must own expertise in performance management frameworks and relate the output to performance tied pay. Decentralization of effective leadership entails constructing a culture of collaboration and making sure that the workforce or the community formulates sophisticated team-solving skills. With the expanding pervasive nature of NPM in the education field or most nations, the major elements of accountability, decentralization and community involvement and their effects on school leadership are discussed in detail (Dimmock & Walker, 2010).

Decentralization

The pattern towards decentralization recognizes that the transformational change dynamic in schools ought to come mostly from within the school community. Nevertheless, studies establish that there are different models or degrees of decentralization in diverse countries including their functions. Localizing delivery has been the most common approach while centralizing mandates standards. In other nations like the U.S. And the UK, contracting educational services has become part of the move to develop a distinct difference between the services and those delivering them (Franklin, Harris & Allen-Meares, 2011). In terms of the curriculum, the trend is towards a great school liberty in issues while nations like UK opted for a model that is centrally defined. However, countries such as the UK are currently in the pursuit of authorizing ways and encourage local diversity. In the UK, the decision-making about curriculum was divided between the schools and the central government. In Denmark, the concept of principals acting as instructional leaders is viewed as foreign. Always, teachers were viewed as an autonomous and professional both in their selection of content and teaching methods of the curriculum. This was given that they adhere to broad local and national guidelines (Cameron & Quinn, 2006).

Expanding decentralization of educational frameworks opened the concern about the function of the local authorities and related intermediate entities between the school and the central state. This extended to the role of bodies such as boards directly or indirectly included in school governance. The existence of these governing bodies forced many school leaders to negotiate their relationships with various stakeholders and powers. In addition, a growing concern pertaining to decentralization relates to the overall transference of system quality. At its worst, this has created contradictory tensions and pressures. At its best, it has established multiple forms of control and governance, each with an independent system (Johansson & Begley, 2013).

Critics of decentralization argued that evidence of the impacts on decentralized school leaders is extensive. Researchers suggest that while assumptions regarding the functions of leaders of school in decentralized environments at times describe what occurs in practice, it does not always reveal the entire story. Critics have associated decentralization with a radically heightened emphasis on budgetary considerations, minimal attention to provide leadership on curriculum and the necessity for additional time attention to time management (Norton, 2013).

Accountability and markets

Various nations have devised ways to exercise control against the increasing decentralization in autonomous schools. The processes of establishing a common curriculum, for school inspection, publishing results, and evaluating students at schools have caused pressures, which motivate school leaders to be in tune with a clearly defined set of organizational culture (Wexler, 2010). On the other hand, various authors believe that most policy makers narrowed the current level of educational success to a single measure: exam scores. This has led to the reduction of schooling to a form of economic competition, both national and individual. Researchers argue that the widespread culture of students testing their achievement, the predominant approach of establishing student standards and judgments about teachers and schools based on results have led to disastrous unintended impacts (Franklin, Harris & Allen-Meares, 2011).

For learners, consequences include reduction of their individual differences, diverting enormous volumes from instruction to exam preparation, curriculum narrowing to which students are exposed and negatively influencing the willingness of schools to admit students with weak academic records. For the teachers, the consequences include the feeling of shame, creation of incentives for fraud, anger and guilt, a feeling of alienation and dissonance (Cameron & Quinn, 2006).

Regardless of such developments, local innovation and centrally defined criteria of achieving them are not contradictory. The most important factor is that the degree of standards specifications is detailed and interventionists, with a culture of control than the development of autonomy. Central education authorities are widely using a special program with related resources and concomitant accountability to ensure schools give them the required priority. However, other bodies like commercial and philanthropic organizations are widely engaging this approach. One consequence is that leaders of schools need to obtain new skills on writing requests for proposals and grants for both the individual schools and other schools (Cameron & Quinn, 2006). Another result might be overall school coherence as educational leaders rush to stay abreast and be evaluated on the latest priority programs.

The school program and performance of teachers and the principal have been frequently scrutinized via inspectorial visits and personal assessments by central authorizes and their representatives. Countries have varying forms of inspection. For instance, in the Netherlands, the Primary Education Inspectorate conducts formal visits that generate a quality rating for each school. These findings are then published in national publications. In England, each school undergoes inspection on a regular cycle by the Standard Education Officer. This system integrates complementary external evaluation and school self-evaluation. The inspections conducted by the inspectorate include undertaking a comprehensive… [END OF PREVIEW]

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