The impact of organisational culture on the performance of junior secondary schools in Oshikoto Education Region.
Iindombo, Gothard Uugwanga
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The possibility of a school’s culture influencing school performance has triggered wide spread research in recent years, with the introduction of organisational culture as a field of management studying the 1970s. This topic gained the wide interest of scholars’ attention by 1980. Building from sociological and anthropological perspectives, scholars have argued that organisations could possess a culture-which is the taken-for-granted assumptions and behaviour that makes sense of the people’s organisational context and therefore contributing to how groups of people respond and behave in relation to the issues they face. Cultural influences on organisational life can be good or bad. An ideal culture should be that which promotes school effectiveness and efficiency as these are the most important deliverables of performance. As can be discerned from the definition by Johnson above, researchers have found that culture influences performance ,attitudes and behaviour of both teachers and learners and thus builds the identity of a school. School culture is therefore a significant component of school life that fuels the school excellence or failure. It is thus of utmost importance for school principals and their staff to understand their school culture and strive towards developing an exemplary and yet inspiring culture-a culture that promotes and signifies teaching and learning through effective school management practices. The challenge remains with the school leadership to embrace the heterogeneous manifestation of culture among its school inhabitants and take cognisance of the fact that culture is volatile. The later implies that an effective organisation needs to develop a culture that has an “intrinsic ability to adopt to changing circumstances”. The reason behind this reasoning is that this type of culture embraces fast changing trends in performance enhancement in the dynamic world with the available resources, thus ensuring consistency or improvement despite the unstable situations. Amidst hard economic times and the stiff competition evident in the education sector in the twenty first century, any institution that endeavours to survive must justify its existence through its performance. As a result this research tries to take a range of approaches to understand school culture, from exploring the forces that may create and change culture, to measurements of the characteristics of a school culture and examining it as a driver of school performance.
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