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2005 | 60 | 1/2 | 249-265

Article title

The school as an organization through the opinion of teachers


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In the last few years more attention turned to the organizational behavior of schools, partly because of the reinforcement of their professional autonomy. Nowadays it is required for all schools to purposefully care about their organizational culture and behavior. Our paper analyzes answers to the questions how teachers think about the organizational behavior of their school and whether they observe the coherence of the organization's norm and value system. The analysis builds on a detailed empirical research, we conducted three overlapping surveys on the organizational behavior of schools. Our sample included 639 teachers from 28 schools, where the distribution of the latter is the following: 24 from Budapest and 4 from Debrecen; 24 primary and 4 secondary schools; 19 public, 5 private and 4 financed by the church. Questionnaires were used to explore the different areas of organizational behavior. Additionally, in order to give a quantitative approach as well, these methods were complemented by open questions, interviews with managers and teachers, direct observations of meetings and analysis of school documents. First we demonstrate how teachers evaluate the unique properties of their school and which are the important elements they consider. We put a special weight on the school climate and the management, and analyze these points in more details. We use component analysis to identify the main dimensions along which the teachers perceive and characterize the organizational culture of their school. Additionally, we show how these factors correlate to the cultural types in Quinn's 'competing values' model. In summarizing the interviews, we highlight how the effects of the school's norm and value system can be traced in the personal experience of the teachers. According to our findings, there exists no unified cultural concept for those working in the same organization, but if the teachers are asked about concrete processes, then they can identify the key properties in their school's organization behavior. Finally, we look at the metaphors teachers give to describe their schools and analyze which organizational properties they are referring to.








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  • M. Serfozo, no address given, contact the journal editor


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