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Tightly coupled policy in loosely coupled systems: institutional capacity and organizational change

Tightly coupled policy in loosely coupled systems: institutional capacity and organizational change This article examines the loosely coupled nature of the US educational system and explores recent systemic reform initiatives designed to improve education through more tightly coupled education policy and practice. The utility and limitations of loose coupling as an organizational construct are examined and critiqued. A number of significant forces are exerting ever-greater pressure on policymakers to more tightly couple US education, including environmental pressures, the emergence of powerful new institutional actors, an emergent institutional capacity, and institutional isomorphism. After reviewing the effectiveness of systemic reform initiatives in several states, the article concludes that education in the USA is moving toward a system of fragmented centralization in which policymakers have greater opportunity to craft more coherent, systemic education policy amidst competing demands for limited resources. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Educational Administration Emerald Publishing

Tightly coupled policy in loosely coupled systems: institutional capacity and organizational change

Journal of Educational Administration , Volume 40 (6): 15 – Dec 1, 2002

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0957-8234
DOI
10.1108/09578230210446045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the loosely coupled nature of the US educational system and explores recent systemic reform initiatives designed to improve education through more tightly coupled education policy and practice. The utility and limitations of loose coupling as an organizational construct are examined and critiqued. A number of significant forces are exerting ever-greater pressure on policymakers to more tightly couple US education, including environmental pressures, the emergence of powerful new institutional actors, an emergent institutional capacity, and institutional isomorphism. After reviewing the effectiveness of systemic reform initiatives in several states, the article concludes that education in the USA is moving toward a system of fragmented centralization in which policymakers have greater opportunity to craft more coherent, systemic education policy amidst competing demands for limited resources.

Journal

Journal of Educational AdministrationEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2002

Keywords: Policy; Organizational change; Centralization

References