Good Ideas and Engagement Aren't Enough: School District Central Offices and the Micro-Politics of Implementing Comprehensive Human Resource Reform
DeArmond, Michael Murray
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This dissertation is about how organizational politics - or what some scholars call micro-politics - shapes the implementation of comprehensive human resource (HR) reform in school district central offices. Over the last decade, education reformers and advocates have promoted comprehensive HR reform as a way to improve teaching and learning in K-12 schools, especially in urban districts. These reforms call on school districts to orient and coordinate all of their HR activities around a common vision of effective teaching and use the way they hire, develop, and retain teachers to systematically build and leverage talent across all schools. For most school districts, this ambitious vision of HR is a profound departure from present practice. Emerging accounts of comprehensive HR reform suggest that implementation is often marked by organizational conflict, but they do not elaborate why this is the case or what it implies for implementation. In investigating the micro-political dynamics of implementing comprehensive HR reform, this study reveals both the sources of conflict that emerge during these ambitious reforms, how actors within central offices negotiate and resolve them, and how micro-political dynamics can -- for better or worse -- shape the implementation of ambitious bureaucratic reform.
- Education - Seattle