Organizational culture in four high school effectiveness programs

Kery D Kafka, Marquette University


Using Edgar Schein's (1985) model for uncovering culture in an organization, this researcher uncovered the culture in four school effectiveness programs. Schein's model for analyzing organizational culture had been shown through previous research to be effective in determining the culture in a business. One of the research questions that was answered was whether the model could be used to determine culture in a school organization. The organizational cultures in four different urban high school's effectiveness programs have been described, analyzed, and contrasted. There was a great deal of discussion in the literature about organizational culture, but no research on its relationship to effectiveness. This dissertation extended the literature on effective schools by relating the culture of an organization to the effectiveness plan that organization designed and implemented. The four effectiveness programs chosen were each site-specific in their design, and each had differing cultures. This research utilized qualitative methodology and the naturalist paradigm. In addition, script taping for data collection was used. It was determined that the cultural description of school effectiveness programs yielded core cultural assumptions in each site. Additional cultural assumptions at each site fit around these core assumptions. The four research questions answered by this dissertation were: (1) Are there cultural differences in four Project CARE programs that can be described using Schein's model? (2) Are there cultural differences in four high schools that predetermined the selection of new structures designed to improve student achievement? (3) Are there similar across-site qualitative changes that occurred in staff and students due to the structural changes caused by Project CARE? (4) What are the cultural, qualitative variables that need to be considered when developing and evaluating programs designed to improve student achievement?

Recommended Citation

Kafka, Kery D, "Organizational culture in four high school effectiveness programs" (1988). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI8904258.