The SAGE Handbook of School Organization presents a substantial review of the history, current status and future prospects of the field of school organization. Bringing together chapters exploring key issues, important debates and points of tension, the Handbook highlights the dynamics and interplay of the political, social, historical and cultural contexts of the field. This volume is designed to provide a much-needed critically informed and coherent account of the field, against a backdrop of increasing complexity in which schooling as an institution and schools as organizations operate. Part I: Schools as organizations; Part II: The leadership, management and governance of schools as organizations; Part III: Theoretical perspectives on schools as organizations; Part IV: Organizing in schools; and Part V: Researching schools as organizations.
Chapter 9: Too Legit to Quit: Institutional Perspectives on the Study of Schools as Organizations
[Page 139]Schools are institutions. Whereas an organization is almost any social collective coordinated by relatively formalized goals, routines and structures, and controlled by endowments or endorsements from external environments, an institution is something different (Scott & Davis, 2007). Being an institution means schools, as an organizational form, operate based on a set of beliefs, practices and structures that are long-held, value-laden and widely accepted as appropriate even when they may no longer accomplish desired functions or outcomes (Meyer & Rowan, 1977; Scott, 1991; Selznick, 1957).1
Consider how most ...