Role of Organizational culture in Education

Organizational culture is defined as the values, norms, practices, symbols, and traditions that characterize a particular organization. When organizational culture is analyzed in the context of teacher use of educational technologies, then beliefs are referred to as the mental world views about the use of educational technologies for instruction or learning in schools.

Values are the things that are important to people including their beliefs. For example, some people’s beliefs about what technologies can do (e.g., make teaching interesting and exciting). And patterns of behavior are procedures, rules, and standards which individuals follow to perform a given task.

Experts emphasize the critical importance of understanding the impact of school culture. School culture which is viewed as a “given” or inflexible has the power to enhance or prevent change. Therefore, change in teachers’ behavior to use educational technology cannot occur in isolation. It must be supported by the organizational (school) culture. It is important, therefore, to analyze this culture to determine the existing performance level because studies show a relationship between an organization and its performance.

Researchers emphasized the importance of analyzing the organizational culture especially the norms, values, and cultural factors which have a significant impact on the use of innovations such as educational technologies in schools.

They suggests a five-component analysis tool to sort organizational dynamics:

(1) the environment- the external forces which the schools have no control over (e.g., the structure of schools in which we use educational technology);

(2) goals (e.g., norms, values, and objectives) which help to analyze the complex context in which schools express these values, direction, and purpose for using technologies;

(3) structure (e.g., fiscal, authority, and power) which provides the willpower and commitment to effect changes in schools;

(4) resources (e.g., tools, methods, processes, and mechanisms) which we use to solve instructional problems in complex school settings; and

(5) personnel which includes the competence of those who use the technologies and the leadership which administers the change process. This analysis leads to identifying the strengths, and weaknesses of all the methods, tools, procedures, and mechanisms that are in use in schools in order to plan effective interventions.

By analyzing the organizational culture, we identify the extent to which schools are committed and willing to change their teaching behaviors, and the supportive relationships available to teachers who implement the change.