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Educational Organizations as  Loosely Coupled Systems:  An Exercise in Metaphorical Thinking Karl E. Weick Prepared by Dr....
Remembering the Connections Problem… Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263:...
The metaphor of  loose coupling <ul><li>Loose coupling  is a metaphor that Karl Weick invites us to use in order to better...
New ideas, metaphors, and understanding  <ul><li>“ Because new ideas are often hard to grasp, authors sometimes use metaph...
Metaphor # 1  from Karl Weick’s “Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems”, p. 42 Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlo...
Metaphor # 2  from James March & Johan Olson’s  Ambiguity and Choice in Organizations <ul><li>“ Consider a round, sloped, ...
But what do these metaphors tell us? <ul><li>-Karl Weick, “Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems”, p. 42 </...
Seeing <ul><li>“ It is conceivable that preoccupation with rationalized, tidy, efficient, coordinated structures has blind...
Loose coupling & continuity <ul><li>“ How can such loose assemblages retain sufficient similarity and permanence across ti...
Where’s the glue? <ul><li>“ This leaves one with the question what does hold an educational organization together?” </li><...
String Theory a suggestive analogue to loose coupling <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0Kaf7xYMk </li></ul>Prepare...
Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administ...
Tight  and  Loose <ul><li>“ The imagery is that of numerous clusters of events that are tightly coupled within and loosely...
Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administ...
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Karl weick's loosely coupled systems

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  • very helpful in understanding the concept. Will definately assist in teaching the concept to my peers in Ed. Admin. class.
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Karl weick's loosely coupled systems

  1. 1. Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems: An Exercise in Metaphorical Thinking Karl E. Weick Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration
  2. 2. Remembering the Connections Problem… Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration <ul><li>Members must be sufficiently connected to each other in some way to be able to communicate with each other, understand each other, and coordinate their activities. </li></ul><ul><li>And members must be sufficiently connected to their enterprise’s purposes and values so that, either willingly or unwillingly, they will function to reflect or achieve them. </li></ul>-T. Sergiovanni, Leadership for the Schoolhouse , p. 50 <ul><li>All social enterprises must solve the connections problem if they are to function effectively. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The metaphor of loose coupling <ul><li>Loose coupling is a metaphor that Karl Weick invites us to use in order to better understand organizations and aspects of organization – particularly the variant kinds of connections that exist within organizations – that are either marginalized, ignored, or suppressed by normative, bureaucratic theory. </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration
  4. 4. New ideas, metaphors, and understanding <ul><li>“ Because new ideas are often hard to grasp, authors sometimes use metaphors to introduce them.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Karl Weick, “Sources of Order in Underorganized Systems: Themes in Recent Organizational Theory”, p. 32 </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration
  5. 5. Metaphor # 1 from Karl Weick’s “Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems”, p. 42 Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration they want; they can say ‘that’s my goal’ whenever they want to, as many times as they want to, and for as many goals as they want to; the entire game takes place on a sloped field, and the game is played as if it makes sense” “ Imagine that you’re either the referee, coach, player or spectator at an unconventional soccer match: the field for the game is round; there are several goals scattered haphazardly around the circular field, people can enter and leave the game whenever
  6. 6. Metaphor # 2 from James March & Johan Olson’s Ambiguity and Choice in Organizations <ul><li>“ Consider a round, sloped, multi-goal soccer field on which individuals play soccer. Many different people (but not everyone) can join the game (or leave it) at different times. Some people can throw balls into the game or remove them. Individuals while they are in the game try to kick whatever ball comes near them in the direction of the goals they like and away </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration from the goals that they wish to avoid. The slope of the field produces a bias in how the balls fall and what goals are reached, but the course of a specific decision and the actual outcomes are not equally anticipated. After the fact, they may look rather obvious; and usually normatively reassuring.” John Tenniel, 1865
  7. 7. But what do these metaphors tell us? <ul><li>-Karl Weick, “Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems”, p. 42 </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration “ The beauty of this depiction is that it captures a different set of realities within educational organizations than are caught when these same organizations are viewed through the tenets of bureaucratic theory.”
  8. 8. Seeing <ul><li>“ It is conceivable that preoccupation with rationalized, tidy, efficient, coordinated structures has blinded many practitioners as well as researchers to some of the attractive and unexpected properties of less rationalized and less tightly related clusters of events.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Karl Weick, “Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems”, p. 44 </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration
  9. 9. Loose coupling & continuity <ul><li>“ How can such loose assemblages retain sufficient similarity and permanence across time that they can be recognized, labeled, and dealt with? The prevailing ideas in organization theory do not shed much light on how such ‘soft’ structures develop, persist, and impose crude orderliness among their elements.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Karl Weick, “Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems”, p. 44 </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration
  10. 10. Where’s the glue? <ul><li>“ This leaves one with the question what does hold an educational organization together?” </li></ul><ul><li>-Karl Weick, “Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems”, p. 45 </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration
  11. 11. String Theory a suggestive analogue to loose coupling <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0Kaf7xYMk </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration
  12. 12. Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration A Loosely Coupled System
  13. 13. Tight and Loose <ul><li>“ The imagery is that of numerous clusters of events that are tightly coupled within and loosely coupled between. These larger loosely coupled units would be what researchers usually call organizations.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Karl Weick, “Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems”, p. 57 </li></ul>Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration
  14. 14. Prepared by Dr. Martin Barlosky, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa EDU 5263: Introduction to Educational Administration A Loosely Coupled System school administration curriculum classrooms school board

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