Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Identity as the foundation for change in school systems
by Scalia, Amy E., M.S., Pepperdine University, 2011, 77; 1490735
Abstract (Summary)

Citizens, politicians, scholars, and educators agree that the nation’s educational system is failing to serve our youth. Despite energy, resources, research, and readiness, schools remain unchanged and ineffective. This study builds on existing research in the corporate landscape about the role identity plays in an organization‘s capability to change. The school system has not made a distinct statement about what it stands for. The researcher hypothesized that a clear identity will better prepare the educational system and schools within it to implement change effectively.

The study explored the question, “Does a clear identity better equip a school to implement change?” through a publicly chartered school in New Orleans, Louisiana. The study used action research and a qualitative and quantitative survey methodology adopted from existing models to measure the identity and agility of the school. Data were analyzed and fed back to the organization‘s leadership to inform the findings, raise awareness about the concepts, and drive change.

Findings indicated that while the school had strong identifying values and demonstrated components of agility, it had room for improvement in both. The head of school expressed an interest in enhancing the school‘s identity and adopting more change-friendly behaviors. The link between identity and agility may exist, but further research should be conducted to obtain a larger data set and measure these concepts over time.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Worley, Christopher G.
Commitee: Feyerherm, Ann
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Organizational Development
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Agility, Change, Education, Identity, Mission, School
Publication Number: 1490735
ISBN: 978-1-124-56164-6
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