School organizational culture: the peak of research in the context of neoliberal policies

Within a multi-referential theoretical framework, the issue of organizational culture has been a subject for multiple conceptual developments and different ideological and political appropriations. In the field of education and in the specific context of school organizations, the cultural and symbolic approaches were subjected to some theoretical inflections. These can only be understood in the global framework of international policies of neoliberal and neoconservative nature. First, this paper critically discusses how the issue of organizational culture in school context was put in perspectives at a time when some political-ideological objectives and values were associated to modernization and rationalization ideologies. Based on the analysis of a great number of researches included in four electronic databases with an international scope, it then discusses the main theoretical, conceptual and methodological trends of this field of study, stressing the place and statute of school as a privileged research context, namely in the reflexive and critical domain.

School organizational culture; School culture; Educational policies; Sociology of educational organizations


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