Date of Award

Fall 1996

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Augenstein, John J.

Second Advisor

Kurimay, Michael D.

Third Advisor

Martin, Thomas J.


This study focused on the school organizational culture of 4 WELS Lutheran high schools who are members of a highly cohesive religious church body. Comparative and cross-case study methods were used to study each respective school's culture. A triangulation format was designed to pursue cultural description through 3 means: interviews, physical evidences, and historical records. Through these areas, the researcher uncovered the artifacts, values and assumptions which, according to E. Schein (1992), comprise the culture of an organization. The primary purpose was to examine 2 basic assumptions: 1) Schools within such a closed community vary little in culture; and 2) Orientation is usually limited to beginning teachers and seldom deals with organizational culture because most teachers are educated within this church body's higher education system. Thus, this study describes the school organizational culture of each school and then identifies similarities and/or differences. Secondary questions probed specific aspects of each school's culture, influence of key contributors, communication of school culture to all constituencies, and orientation experiences.



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