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And by what signs are more pronounced, you can determine the type of organization culture

And by what signs are more pronounced, you can determine the type of organization culture

And they will get to know each other not only quickly, but also fun. Because the organizers of the school invited Mikhail Ivanov, the author of the idea and the creator of the “Learning”.

Have you ever seen how 200 respectable adult strangers burst into laughter and learn a variety of facts about each other in order to better understand each other? Come to the school – you will not only see, but you yourself will become participants in the “Learning”.

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Why should the principal and teacher know about the school with what organizational culture they work, whether there are schools without organizational culture at all (spoiler – no), and why officials never talk about the organizational culture of schools. These and many other questions will be answered in detail at the Fifth Mobile School of Teachers and Directors.

What is organizational culture

Konstantin Mikhailovich Ushakov, editor-in-chief of the School Director magazine, has a wonderful metaphor: organizational culture is a rut. The track in which the organization exists, the track that determines how everything in the organization works, and the track that distinguishes the organization from other similar ones.

If we talk about official definitions, more scientific, then I have come across about 50 such definitions in the literature, and they are all different. I like the definition of the American psychologist and researcher of the topic of organizational culture Edgar Shane, he wrote that organizational culture is a system of basic ideas that are acquired by a group or organization in the process of functioning, adaptation to the external environment and to the processes of internal integration. It is assumed that these representations have served well, have proven their effectiveness, and are passed on as values.

An organization always has an organizational culture, regardless of what kind of organization it is, what tasks it solves, what it strives for and on whose money it exists. The organizational culture can be less or more pronounced, but it can always be observed, diagnosed and determined.

Educational organizations are no exception to this rule. The organizational culture of a particular school shows what is accepted in this school, which management style prevails, what is possible in it and what is not. Knowing and understanding what type of organizational culture exists in a school is important for managers, employees, students and their parents.

Three entities play a key role in the formation of organizational culture: the leader (leader), the teaching staff and the interaction between them.

The specific type of organizational culture of the school finds its expression in common values, traditions, foundations, characteristics, up to the way in which the goals facing the school are achieved. It is believed that there are no bad organizational cultures, there are just cultures that achieve the goals of the organization in different ways. Let’s take an example: there is a Google company and an S7 company. At Google, innovation is at the forefront because the company is committed to creating and promoting innovative products. At S7, reliability and safety are of paramount importance, as there is nothing more important to customers than a safe flight on a reliable aircraft that adheres to a schedule. Therefore, these two firms have different organizational cultures, allowing to achieve essentially the same goal – the company’s prosperity.

Types of organizational cultures

And here we come to an important question: how many different types of organizational cultures in principle are there?

In the 80s of the last century, a book by K. Cameron and R. Quinn was published, in which they distinguish four types of organizational culture: clan, adhocratic, bureaucratic and market. I prefer to use other names, they seem clearer and more metaphorical to me: – organic (an organization is an organism acting as a whole); – partnership (innovation, creativity, experimentation in group interaction reign here); – hierarchical (in an organization with this type of organizational culture, formal rules and procedures, an official management policy are very important); – entrepreneurial (in organizations with this type of culture, everyone is focused on the result, on the fulfillment of the assigned tasks).

Each organization gravitates to one of these four types, you can always highlight those key features what defines a hero essay and characteristics that are characteristic of one type of organizational culture, which can be identified as predominant.

Diagnostics of the type of organizational culture

For several decades, there have been proven in many studies and well-proven diagnostic tools, determining the type of culture in a particular organization. Everything is very simple: there are two pairs of striking features, the severity of which determines the type of culture. The first is flexibility as opposed to stability, the second pair is integration – differentiation. It cannot be that in one organization the degrees of expression, for example, of both flexibility and stability are the same, there will certainly be a bias. In the case of the second pair of signs, the picture is similar. And by what signs are more pronounced, you can determine the type of culture of the organization.

Flexible and with an internal focus on integration – this is an organic culture. Flexible and with an external focus on differentiation – this is an affiliate. Stable with an internal focus on integration is hierarchical. Stable and with an external focus on differentiation is entrepreneurial.

At the Fifth Retreating School of Teachers and Principals, I will conduct a workshop on this topic, and we and the school participants will use existing tools with a little refinement to diagnose the organizational culture of specific schools. There will probably be many surprises, since quite often a person who has been working at school for many years may not realize what type of culture exists in it, and why something is happening the way it is.

Why should a teacher know the type of organizational culture of the school in which he works?

Awareness and understanding is a very important thing that any person needs in any situation and any circumstance. Let’s say a teacher doesn’t work effectively at school. It seems that he does everything as it should, but the administration has complaints, dislike. The rest work worse – but they have a complete understanding with the administration. Why? The answer may be hidden in the discrepancy between the teacher’s ideas about what school he works in with what actually is. 

Suppose a teacher is guided by the desire and understanding of the need to develop critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to create in children, and a hierarchical organizational culture dominates in school, in which the main thing is strict order, discipline, and adherence to rules. And in order to somehow change the state of affairs, one must understand what it is. Of course, one teacher cannot change the organizational culture of a school, but, having realized the cause of his problems, he can accept the values ​​of this school or change it to another one that is more suitable for himself. And it may also contribute to the emergence of a new subculture in the school, in which he and his colleagues who share his values ​​will be more comfortable to exist.

Of course, the type of organizational culture of a school, first of all, depends on the leader, the leader. It is the vision of the leader, his values, the changes he consistently carried out can seriously affect this type.

Mostly hierarchical culture in Russian schools

Most of our schools are dominated by a hierarchical culture. And not because all principals are such bureaucrats and lovers of a strong hand, but because the school does not exist in a vacuum, it is inside a huge system that makes its own demands on it. And the system itself, naturally, has a hierarchical type of culture. And he keeps every school under control, inundates with requirements, orders and checks. It is very difficult for any school, being a part of the system, to have some kind of culture other than the hierarchical one.

At the same time (here is the main contradiction), the hierarchical type of culture does not contribute to improving the quality of children’s education. Because children for the most part are not able to exist within a hierarchical culture, to obey many requirements and prohibitions. They always resist pressure (if they haven’t been broken yet). Children object to hierarchical culture by their very essence.

And what should a creative teacher do if he cannot work in the style of a hierarchical culture, does not want to adapt to it, and has nowhere to go – because most of the other schools are exactly the same? And, oddly enough, here the hierarchical culture itself comes to the rescue: because its traditions have closed doors.