32 SES 04, Diversity and School Development
Paper/Pecha Kucha Session
Local school improvement is professionally and politically at the top of an educational agenda. As the global context of schools becomes more competitive, complex and challeging to improve, school organizations must be more aware about their change efforts. In this paper i will argue for how schools need to balance their planned change with unpredictable and emergent change. Together, these processes of change can be a possibility for the leaders to manage improvement based on a pluralism and learn how to be better to handle diversity in the process of improvement.
The planned change is a deliberative action where the members of the organisaton goes through different phases to achieve a goal (Jacobsen & Thorsvik, 2002). The emergent change, on the other hand, is often seen as a force on its own, which cannot be controlled or regulated. Thes two approaches are often regarded as each others opposite, but accordning to Van de Ven and Poole (2004) it can also be fruitful to study their relationship and the researchers argues that they can be intitated and stimulated by each other.
The aim of the study is to describe if ,and in that case, how planned and emergent change processes can interact together in order to reach improvement in an organisation.
How can planned and emergent processes be understood in a improvement work?
Can the two processes be used - as a resource - by identifying supporting and hindering forces to create and manage improvement work in the organization?
Data was collected by observations and interviews and answers to questinonnaires. The empirical material of the study was organised in narratives and according to Van de Ven´s and Poole´s (1995) ideal types for process studies. Within each type , motors have been identifed which contain generative mechanisms that are a key to how actions, events and activities emerge and are driven forward.
The empirical material was organized and analyses according to Van de Ven´s and Poole´s four ideal types for process studies- two indicates planned processes and two indicates emergent change. Within each process theory motors have been identified, with contain generative mechanism that are a key to how actions, events and activities emerge and are driven forward. By constructing theoretically interpreted narratives with defined concepts, courses of events where created which could explain events, actions and activities from the empirical material. The theoretically interpreted narratives were inspired by Pentland´s structural levels based on narrative theory. The narratives consisted of episodes in turn consisting of events (Pentland, 1999). The courses of events constructed to enable the analysis, contain one or more episodes where defined activities are carried out according to an intention worded at the beginning of each course of events. The courses of events are graphically presented to make the result visible.
All the four ideal processes that Van de Ven and Pool (1995) argues for can be identified in the analys of the study: life cycle process theory, evolutionary process theory, teleological process theory and dialectal process theory. The life cycle theory process and the evolution process theory can be seen as picture of planned change and teleological and dialectic process theory can be seen as emerges processes. Even if there is a conflict (dialectic process) the result of a process- that contains more than one of the presented process theories- can end in an improvement work which contains development. The result show that principals and teachers can use both planned and emergent change to control and work with improvement work in a constructive way. If they identify the four process theories - and don't se emergent change as a threat - it can be a way to produce development and produce a result. They need to be well informed how to handle the four processes in the practical work - and to take the theoretically knowledge with them in the practical work with improvement.
Jacobsen D. I & Thorsvik, J. (2002). Hur moderna organisationer fungerar. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Pentland, B. T. (1999). Building process theory with narrative: from description to explanation. The Academy of Management Review, 24(4), 711-724. Van de Ven, A.H & Poole, M.S. (1995). Explaning Development and Change in Organisations. The Academy of Management Review, 20(3). 510-540 Van de Ven, A.H & Poole, M.S. (2004). Handbook of organizational change. New York: Oxford University Press
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